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Penny Pearson

ESL Department Teachers Create Electronic Worksheets
Year Two

Description: Penny is a young, energetic, enthusiastic woman. She has auburn hair and dark eyes. She is wearing a dark suit and white blouse. Her first slide is her title slide – Winterstein Adult Center, Penny Pearson, Teacher, CTE. There is a fuzzy graphic of an excerpt from the dictionary – the meaning of monitor. The then shows a photo of her school. It is a large gray building with the American and California State flags flying out front. There is also a photo the gray school sign – Winterstein Adult Center.

Penny Pearson: I get to say that. Good morning, everybody. How are ya doin'? Is this great stuff, or what? I just have so much fun with this. As I was introduced, my name is Penny Pearson and I am a career technical education instructor at Winterstein Adult Center. This is my little school. It's not that little. We have ADA of about 2,200, so we have lots of students there. And, we have several other sites that we teach at, as well.

Description: The next slide has a blue banner headline with white text. The title is Project Overview. There are two photos, one of Penny with fellow teacher and the other of Penny teaching in her lab. The bullet points are:

  • Teach in the Career Technical Education Program
    • Microsoft Office, Internet, Email, Digital Photography, Digital Storytelling
  • "Mentored" the entire teacher staff (60+ full and part-time teachers

Penny continues her presentation.

Penny: Just kind of a very brief overview; since I teach in the career technical center, I get to teach technology skills and when I was asked to participate and accepted to participate in the TIMAC program, I was really looking forward to sharing with other teachers and thought, "I just want to work with ESL teachers." I really saw a lot of things that I wanted to change that I'll tell you about more. And the project grew from working with one or two teachers in the ESL department to mentoring the entire adult education staff, which was over 60 teachers. So, it was very interesting and the project morphed tremendously. And with the classes that I taught, I still thought, I could really do some really good things.

Description: The next slide has a blue background, white foreground and black text. There are two photos of students and teachers working in the computer lab. The bullet points are:

  • Created and delivered 14 different staff development workshops
  • Instituted "Tech Talk Daze" – dedicated time for teacher to receive help

Penny continues her presentation.

Penny: I shared with all of my teachers. I did several different things in terms of creating workshops and delivered about 14 different titles. I was trying to add them all up the other day. And I delivered them both at our Winterstein campus, which you saw the picture of, as well as our new Sunrise Tech Center.

And I also instituted something that I called "Tech Talk Daze", D – A – Z – E, because that's they way a lot of them felt when it came to technology. And my administration was very supportive in giving me time to do those workshops as well as time for teachers to come and just drop in to a computer lab. And I'm very fortunate to have a lab that's got a lot of nice toys. So if they wanted to do scanning, I could help them with scanning and pretty much anything. We are very well equipped.

Description: Next slide is entitled Measurable Results. There is a picture of a photocopier which equals a pile of copies. The bullet points are:

  • Million and million of copies
    • Goal: reduce photocopies within one program area – ESL

Penny continues.

Penny: From that point, with my project, I had really decided early on, this was my first goal, was that I wanted to reduce the amount of photocopying. Because that was a very measurable result for me because I learned we need some quantitative data, right? Numbers. My ESL department at the time a counted was over four million copies and they were only six months into the school year. So, I thought, okay, this is something I could measure. The problem was, half way through the project, we changed photocopiers. And now we no longer require codes, so I have no idea who makes copies where. So, phttt, there goes that quantitative data.

Description: The title of the next slide is Measurable Results Continued. There is a picture of three happy faces and a picture of one very frightened looking woman, biting her fingernails. The bullet points are:

  • Conquering Technophobia
    • Tried to make technology a useful tool
    • Some teachers never checked their email because they didn't know how
    • Once introduced, teachers shared their knowledge – The Infection Factor

Penny continues.

Penny: Okay, so I went to another thing, I thought, okay I need to really conquer this technophobia. And I was working on this and this is really difficult. I mean, I hope those of you that, that work in technology, you feel it. But with, I'm one of those people that I'll bulldog through software and I'll figure it out and I'm fairly tenacious. But some of these folks are really scared and trying to help them get over that fear. Well, how do you measure that? (Shrugging) How do you measure it? And so, I was really looking to make sure they understood this was really something useful; that I wanted it to save them time. And that was a hard sell because they were looking at this as being, "I gotta learn all this stuff. I'm spending all this time. How is me spending 12 hours, gonna save me any time?" So, I always had to preface it with, "It's a lot of time now, but later it will save you time. I promise." But, wasn't sure how to measure that. So, a lot of the workshops I did, I gathered evidence in terms of product that they produced. But that doesn't really say anything about did they really conquer they're technophobia.

One did; my success story. And I unfortunately don't have a picture of him because he's a little camera shy. One of my teachers, named Roy, teaches Russian. And at our institution, it said that you have to check electronic mail. That's part of your daily duties. Well, he never did. He didn't know how. So he would drop into my "Tech Talk Daze" and it was kind of like, how do I do this? And I said, "Okay, I help you learn how to do this." And within a day, he was checking his electronic mail and he was realizing he could communicate with this students. And then another session, I lead him out to Google. And those of you who were in the session yesterday, you saw Google translator. Well, he's having a ball with typing his lessons in Russian and seeing how they translate to English and vice versa. And this was a guy that was like, what is that round thing on the table (holds up a mouse). And that is anecdotal data, but it's very cool. And I have others in terms of these hallway meetings; being able to hear their stories and that's very uplifting to me because I would do things like with one teacher who wanted to know more about United Streaming. She came into my "Tech Talk Daze" and said, "Show me this." So I showed her it and within an hour she'd gone down to the rest of her ABE/ASE teachers and she showed them. And next thing I know, I'm walking down the hall and another teacher who had never been in my "Tech Talk Daze" - "Oh, I saw that United Streaming stuff. That is really cool. I'm gonna use it!" So I'm like, great! And I'd never seen this person in my lab before. So that infection factor is really what I was looking for; to get people talking to people. And that's what I'm hoping will continue because they do talk. We teachers tend to do that.

Description: The next slide shows a photo of a classroom. The title is What Would I Change? The bullet points are:

  • Traditional mentoring
    • One-on-one
    • Quicker, more immediate results
    • Focus responsibility
    • Provide "better service"
  • More data! More surveys! More photos! More video!
    • Document the process (this was supposed to be a self-contained movie)

Penny continues her presentation.

Penny: So, the things that I would change; and this would be a word of advice to new mentees/mentors as they come up; is I think I would have really have preferred more of the traditional one-on-one mentoring. Find one or two instead of 60 because I think I would have had quicker and more immediate and measurable results as well as I could have focused my responsibility on a few instead of having to do so many; which then would allow me to give them better service and communicate one-on-one. And the last one is whole thing about data, data, data. I realized when I was putting together this final presentation, cuz I wanted to do and entire story and movies, videos, and I didn't have enough. So, dawn your cameras and take your recorders and make sure that you document what you're doing because it really helps when you have to do this (chuckling). I really think that what I really learned from this is to understand that apprehension that I talked about.

Description: The next slide is entitled Change is Good. The bullet points are:

  • Better appreciation of "apprehensive" teachers
  • Learned new techniques and strategies to alleviate those fears
  • Learned more about other program areas

Penny continues.

Penny: Have a better understanding and more empathy for teachers who are fearful and because of that, I learned new strategies in dealing with those fears, be it just learning to take those little baby steps. Don't bite off more that you can chew. Little tiny bits is really wonderful. And that works for them, too. And then something that I really benefited from, is that I learned so much more about other program areas. Since I teach in career tech ed and I'm around technology all the time, being able to learn more about what happens in ABE/ASE/GED/ESL really opened my eyes and I really think that's a good thing.

Description: The next slide is entitled Conclusion: There is a yellow starburst at the bottom of the slide with the words "And the adventurous teachers of WAC & STC) inside. The bullet points are:

  • TIMAC is an awesome program that deserves your support and promotion
  • Thanks to
    • Bill Bettencourt, Principal, Winterstein Adult Center
    • Margaret Holiday, VP, Sunrise Tech Center
    • Marian Thacher, Director, OTAN
    • Branka Marceta, Technology Projects Coordinator, OTAN

Penny is smiling as she continues.

Penny: You all have heard it. This is an awesome program. Promote, promote, promote; tell everybody about it. I really thank my administration, Bill Bettencourt, my principal, who was very much behind this program, as well as our vice principal out at Sunrise Tech and of course, you're going to hear it all day today, Marian and Branka for all that they do; their coordination and all that kind of thing, as well as all of our teachers.

Description: The last slide says "And most of all: TIMAC mentors! YOU!" and there is a photo of the TIMAC participants sitting at their meeting tables. Penny concludes her presentation.

Penny: And then of course, all of you; the networking here is incredible. Don't lose sight of it and keep in touch. I know some of you have said you know, I'm not going to be here anymore but I don't think so. You're going to be around a long. We're gonna keep you in the loop. So, I appreciate the opportunity and to be able to share this project with you. Thank you. Thanks.