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Editorial – Burnt out

Damian Perry

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So much to do, so little time. It is a trite phrase, but when I found myself as the only DigiTech teacher in the school, it suddenly gained a lot more meaning.

We understand that every teacher has to work miracles to get their job done. We have to differentiate for the students at the bottom and extend the students at the top. We need to provide regular feedback to students, parents and the education system. We need to read all of the literature on each student and respond to them according to their individual needs.

We must stay on top of the latest research in education and rework our curriculum to account for whatever requirements the government place upon us.

All while maintaining a home and social life. This is why teachers marry teachers. Or nurses. Or social workers. We feel your pain.

But STEAM teachers – Science, Maths, Technology and Arts teachers in particular – also need to keep their fingers on the latest in technological breakthroughs. We need to be able to program, build computers, link sensors, fly drones, enter the virtual world and look confident as we do it.

And that can be incredibly daunting.

Which is why newsletters such as The STEAM Report exist. We want to provide you with hints and tips that make your job easier. If you are the only tech teacher at your school, and you are responsible for creating the entire P-12 curriculum, then you need to realise that there are other people out there who have already done a lot of this work for you. And in general, we like to share.

Because we’ve been there. And someone helped us.

I have a close network of DigiTech teacher friends who I call on when I’m stuck. I have friends who are programmers who help me debug code (because if I was that good at it I might be a programmer instead of a teacher). I have an extended network on Twitter and LinkedIn who regularly share good ideas.

And you have the STEAM Report.

This issue, I have put together a simple run through of good ways to address certain Curriculum standards using Arduinos and Morse code. I have interviewed another prolific Twit who has some hints as to how to use Twitter most effectively. I have listed a number of interesting news items and upcoming events on our News page. And as always, we’ve collected articles from some of the most knowledgeable minds in Education and STEAM.

So don’t try and do it alone. Sit down with your coffee and let us help you out.

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