With two recent retirements and and a bumper crop of 9th graders expected in August, we have six new teaching positions posted. These newbies will certainly have an impact on our school environment. And naturally, we are very eager to impact them with Mercy 2.0.
Ironically, we cannot reasonably expect that otherwise excellent candidates will arrive with the tech skills needed to jump in to Mercy’s program. For one things, schools of education are behind in such things. For another, we truly are on the leading edge in instructional technology, so even experienced teachers may be unprepared for the breadth and depth of our program. Consequently, rather than listing specific skills as prerequisites, on our job descriptions we stipulated a need to demonstrate both an aptitude and an enthusiastic curiosity toward the investigation of technological tools and their integration across [science, etc.] curriculum
In order to prepare them for Mercy 2.0 we have arrived at a unique solution. In July, we will host a Mercy 2.0 Boot Camp for new teachers. (Mercy staff veterans will also be welcome to audit). The sessions will be led by our crackerjack Religious Studies teacher and tech wizard, Alison Kline-Kator. Over the course of three days, Alison will introduce teachers to such Mercy necessities as Moodle, PowerTeacher, Google Apps, and of course iPad/iPad apps. Most importantly, she will orient them to the engaging teaching methods that these powerful tools enhance.
We have introduced a number of innovations with Mercy 2.0. I consider this to be one of the most critical. We have a lot riding on the staff’s enthusiasm Mercy 2.0. After graduating from boot camp, our cadets will be ready to join in the action.
Creative Commons Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard