Setting my professional goal
May 10, 2013 § Leave a comment
I’m putting this out there because I want to make clear what my goal is. I aim to become a Technology Director (or CTO, or whatever you want to call it) in a field related to education.
I think pretty much everyone who knows me knows that I have a passion for both education and technology. Over the past 10+ years, I’ve been lucky enough to have found jobs that allow me to work with both. When I discovered that I loved teaching adults as much as I loved teaching kids, it opened a new career path for me.
You can find out more about my career by looking at my portfolio, or my LinkedIn profile, but for those that don’t know me, I’ll give you the bullet points. I have a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. I taught middle school for 5 years and K-8 for 1 year before becoming a Technology Coordinator who handled all of the boxes and wires in addition to the professional development. I got my Master of Arts in Educational Technology in July 2003, and that eventually led to a job as an Instructional Technology Specialist, where I did a lot of professional development and team teaching to help teachers integrate technology in their lessons. I did that job for 6 years until some changes took place that have now put me purely on the technical side of things. I now am in charge of the technicians and computer systems (replacements, upgrades, generally making sure everything keeps running) in my district and have been doing that for 2 years.
TL;DR, I”m an educator and a geek. Just like it says in my twitter profile. I know what it’s like in the classroom but I can also hold my own in a conversation about technical things.
I’d like to end up in a place where Educational Technology is the focus of the technology director. I feel like, in a school district, how technology impacts education should be the focus of the tech director. Yes, a CTO needs to understand security and boxes and wires and all of those things, but I’ve always felt very strongly that if you’ve never been a teacher, you are at a disadvantage for understanding the instructional piece. That’s not to say that someone who hasn’t been a teacher can’t do the job (and I’ve had plenty of arguments about this with my colleagues). There are lots of great tech directors out there who have made it their job to understand as much about classroom instruction as possible, or hired people who can help them in that regard.
My point is this: I am well rounded in all aspects. I may not know as much about the boxes and wires and security as someone who is formally trained in those things, but I am willing to admit my deficiencies and listen to the experts when it comes to those things. On the other hand, I’m really good at being able to tell when someone is trying to sell me a bill of goods or use excuses about why something can’t be done because they simply don’t want to do it.
A large part of my current job is managing people, and motivating them to get things done. I would like to think that I’ve done a good job at that over the past couple of years. We’ve managed to get our inventory straightened out and move it to a completely new system. We’ve also put a dedicated help desk in place, and we’ve seen great results because of it. Every decision I’ve made hasn’t been the most popular, but I haven’t had a revolt, either, and I’d like to think that the people who work for me would say that I’m a pretty good boss.
Part of the reason for this post is to get it out there. I want people to know what it is that I want to do. At this point in my career, there is no point in me applying for jobs that aren’t going to get me to that end goal. The other point of this post is to remind myself of that very thing. Keep the faith. Point toward that goal. Do the things that will get you there. I’ve known for a long time that this was my ultimate goal, but lately, I seem to have needed some reminders, and this post will serve as such.
So…if anyone (preferably in the San Antonio area) is looking for a geeky educator who likes being on the cutting edge of technology and helping teachers see the future, please drop me a line.