MAET Alumni Spotlight Questions: Allison Dailey
MAET Graduation year: May, 2010
My MAET degree was done completely through the online program. For me, the MAET program was ideal. I have never learned so much in a year and a half during my program then through any other formal education. The program was rigorous, but was ideal to my job situation and personal life. I applied directly what I learned in the program to my career and used it as a basis for teaching and exposing my students to new technologies. I completed a bulk of the program while I was pregnant and finished up during my daughter’s 1st year- doing work from my kitchen table was both convenient for myself and realistic for my life. I truly do not believe I would have been able to complete a “face to face” program! Not only did I learn about technology and education, but I tested myself and was both surprised and proud of at the end of what I was capable of
Trillium Academy in Taylor, MI. We are a K-12 Charter school that focuses K-3 on the Montessori philosophy and has a school-wide fine and performing arts focus.
Job Responsibilities and ed tech responsibilities:
Currently, I am still K-6 technology educator and most recently this year, I became the Dean of Elementary (K-6) education as well. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what I do on a daily basis. First and foremost, I teach 417 K-6th grade students in the area of technology. Our focus since I took over the position a year and a half ago was technology integration into the core curriculum. Along with teaching, come my “Dean” responsibilities which span from greeting students in the morning to discipline. I work closely with our Vice Principal on intervention strategies with students and serve as an academic teaching coach within the building. Teacher observations, staff meeting pd, student/parent meetings and communication also are under that umbrella.
I work on obtaining funding for technology through grants and programs such as Donorschoose.org. Donorschoose has allowed many of our teachers including myself to find a means of getting supplies and upgraded technology. I am overseeing structural and administrative changes within the building involving upgrading technology and daily processes using technology. I work closely with our IT tech company, trying to ensure all staff and students have what they need, technologically speaking. Being at a charter school allows me some freedom and leeway to speak with my administrator(s) on a daily basis and give input as to what I feel would be best for the school. I oversee and make decisions when it comes to ordering certain educational technologies and try to arrange professional development as needed. I am always looking for ways to keep communication between staff and parents clear and easy- we most recently enrolled in a Twitter account and will be using edublogs for staff meetings and book discussions. Basically, at Trillium- I am trying to improve the ways we do things (work smarter, not harder….) and integrate as much technology as we can, as fast as we can to better our students for the world outside of Trillium’s walls.
The biggest challenge to me is that there are so many things I want to implement and not enough time! I wish I could have 8 arms and 48 hours in a day- and I still would probably want more There are so many great “things” to try that would help improve life greatly at Trillium for both staff and students. One of the biggest challenges with my students is that I only see each class for one hour per week- if it were up to me, students would have technology all day, everyday! So, getting in what I need to get in and what I want to get in with them is always a struggle. With staff, it is implementing new processes and giving them the proper professional development to implement it well. I need to remind myself that not everyone went through the training I did, so while many of these technological changes come easy to me now, this wasn’t always the case. I am however lucky though, to work with an amazing staff that wants to learn and they are very supportive.
How did the MAET program help prepare you for these challenges?
As I said earlier, the MAET program was pretty rigorous, but it helped prepare me even more for the wide-range of responsibilities that I am facing now. Everyday is different- sometimes technology works for you, sometimes it doesn’t . On the days it doesn’t, you still need a plan B and you need to keep moving forward. I think it gave me a good balance of what life would be like if I remained in the classroom, and if I decided to take a position outside of the classroom. (Ironically, I am doing both right now!) It helped my brain to build a bridge between the “digital immigrants and digital natives” and how I can reach and help both kinds of learners. It gave me infinite ways of incorporating differentiated instruction. I feel I learned so much about how I learn, and how others learn as well- it made me realize that I AM a lifelong learner!
Ways to connect with Allison
Websites I maintain for my students and staff:
Trillium Academy on Twitter @TrilliumWildcat
MAET Alumni Spotlight Questions: Allison Dailey