Sunday, September 10, 2006

Steep Learning Curve

Today I was amazed to realize that almost a month had passed since my previous post. I could have sworn I posted just last week. However, that is typical here. Each day rushes by and before I know it, another week has passed

As you would expect, my to-do list continues to grow each day despite my own increases in productivity. My new job is a fascinating mix of roles. Within my division, I am the web master, the first stop for all tech problems, head of technology-related professional development (especially in the form of just-in-time, one-on-one instruction). I am expected to provide vision, balancing he wishes of teachers, students, and administrators, with the need to keep the network stable and feasible to maintain. I am in charge of the tech budget and the tech inventory. I am the liaison between my division and the school's tech department and other technology divisions. The list goes on and on. In addition to my coordinator duties, I teacher 15 student classes per week.

I am loving it, but dearly wishing that I were not new. I think that in the past, this position has most often been recruited from within. Since I am new, I have had to get up to speed while also getting settled in a new country and learning the structures and procedures in a new school.

On top of that, this is my first tech job in a Windows environment. It has been humbling to go back to step one. Now I am the person watching in awe as my tech colleagues zip through short cuts while I plodding search menus for needed commands. It has been good-- helps me relate better to the teachers who are not comfortable with technology.

I love all the learning I am doing. With the help of an excellent team of assistants, teachers, technicians, web masters and engineers I am now proficient at using the Active Directory to manage user accounts. I've started receiving email copies of all the work requests, so I'm getting a handle on the range of tech problems in my division and how they were resolved. Our web site permissions problems are resolved and I am easily helping teachers with their sites and getting better at updating our division's site. I am starting to get up to speed with our SmartBoards-- we have six as a pilot program. Finally, I'm learning the quirks of students using Windows so I recognize what they probably did to cause a problem, giving me a clue how to resolve it.

All this learning, along with my own teaching, planning, meetings and such leaves me feeling chronically behind. The need to get settled in our home keeps me from working as late into each night as I would wish. I vascillate between relishing the progress I have made, and quailing at how far I have yet to go before I'm good at this job.

However, all things considered, we are pleased we made this move. This is an excellent school and we are both growing personally and professionally. We are loving Singapore. Who could ask for anything more?