Student Voices and A New Year

Hello, and welcome to Episode 99 of the Planning Period Podcast, your #EdBreakroom. I’m your host, Brad Shreffler.
99 episodes of the podcast. That. Seems crazy. Almost as crazy as the last few weeks have felt, with the school year starting, finishing a very difficult term of my Ed Leadership Masters, and a hurricane messing with our school calendar already. So, this week we are going to be doing something a little different.
I reached out to my Twitter followers a month or so ago and asked what they thought I should do for episode 100 of the show. One of the responses is that they would like to hear my students speak and share their voices. I liked the idea, so followed up on Twitter and asked what questions they would like to hear my students answer. On the first day of school, my classes took turns answering one of the questions suggested by Twitter and I recorded them all. So, today, you are going to hear my students’ thoughts on their first day of school in the 2019-20 school year.
Before we get to that, let me paint you a little picture of my teaching context. I am the Instructional Technology Coach for a large middle school in Central Florida. This year, our school was relieved by a new middle school down the road. Last year, we had over 2800 students (and 90 portables) and this year we are down to a nice, small 1800. I know, you are probably hearing me say small 1800 middle schoolers and think I am crazy, but it is really true. Our leadership team have all felt at one time or another this year that we seem like a small school now. It’s amazing how used to something you can get, even when your normal is having every task on campus require logistics planning and load balancing.
I was brought to this school last year by the principal, Mr. Jackson, and the Assistant Principal of Instruction (API), Nicole Mutters (both former guests). I had previously been the Instructional Technology Coach at a large high school in the area (where Mutters was a dean at the time) and launched the one-to-one laptop initiative there. When the middle school was getting ready to launch their program, Mutters convinced Mr. Jackson that they needed me to come over to help make their program a success. As I had been getting frustrated at my old school anyways, the leap made sense, so I agreed.
My classes are not traditional classes for my students. My students make up our tech support group for the school. They are interns more than students, and as interns, their job is to help ensure the rest of the school has working laptops.  I have students assigned to me all seven periods of the day, so that if a student on campus has a problem at any time, they can come down to Student Tech and get the assistance they need. This is my second year running this program at the middle school, so I have a collection of returning students who were with me last year, and new students.
This clip is about 6 minutes in total of my students, each answering one question. Bear with it, as I know the audio quality isn’t great. I have cleaned it up as much as I can.
Stay tuned after the clip as I am going to be giving a quick update on my Master’s Program (half way through!) and teasing what is coming in episode 100 next week…
So, sit back and enjoy Episode 99 of the Planning Period Podcast, my interview with my tech support students.
Students, thank you for joining me on the show and lending your voices to the Planning Period Podcast.
Master’s Update

Class was much better this term
Work was much worse.
Master’s Thesis – Almost Quit

Episode 100

Turning the mic over.

If you have comments or questions about the show, you can always connect with me on twitter, @BradShreffler, and now on Instagram @BradShreffler as well. I love to hear from you there. That’s also a great place to connect if you’d like to be a guest on the show. Or, the Feedback Page on my website gives you options for feedback as we