Groundhog Day job shadow – KentISD

Seth Martin, Contributing Writer

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As technology becomes more and more prevalent in today’s day and age, teachers in school are learning and adapting new ways to teach. This is exactly the job of Mr. Craig Steenstra, the man I shadowed on Groundhog Day.

The job I shadowed was at Kent ISD, a facility with lots of technology and updated materials. When I first went I was skeptical about the job and didn’t know what to expect, but I quickly learned that it is a job that is just hard to make sound good on paper.

We first went to a meeting that was luckily happening this day of the month. Meetings are a big part of this job, learning new information on how to help others, asking questions, recapping on events. Normally they are not as big, but once a month they do a meeting with lots of the members around the state. They talked in a very civilized manner. Sometimes raising hands sometimes saying information that’s necessary right away. This was boring as a student. I’m sure this all had some meaning to them, though.

Then we got a small tour of some of the conference rooms and the IT guys. The conference rooms were all big with lots of projectors and lots of technology hooked up. The desks were all moveable as were the chairs. It seemed like a friendly environment. Then we met the help desk guys. They were college students, working a 40 hour job. They were very funny and smart. They also said their job was boring but one of them graduated from KCTC which is the school that is run by KentISD. The IT people were next. I walked into their small corner cubicle and was instantly impressed by the tri monitor setup all of them had. Also the rivalry of Michigan vs. Michigan State that went on in the back of the room. They were a fun group and their jobs were to help run the schools of Northview, KCTC, and others in the district. Some are run locally such as us in Wyoming but in other schools it’s easier to just have KentISD run it. They were all fun and again some of them were from KCTC which is a common theme among all the members in technology.

After another brief tour of some other places we piled into his car and we drove to a DK school. DK is short for Developmental Kindergarten. A lady was trying to implement iPad’s into her teaching. Mr. Steenstra’s job is to figure out ways to help her students learn the best with technology. He also does this at high schools, and other schools. It was cool watching him work because it was just a friendly conversation that was very informational. Obviously he needed to have lots of knowledge.

Lastly we went to Sparta High School and met the man who helps run the school. Recently he has been very busy working on how to get the chromebooks at Sparta to be easier and safer to access. It’s hard work he said. It looked interesting and cool how they did it all through google admin.

This was a really cool job shadow, I loved driving around and the freedom of it. It was super interesting to watch how he talked and how people skills are really important. It also seemed they were on technology a lot of the times, it was cool and interesting to see it all. This was an opportunity I am very glad that i got to experience.

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