From Total Teacher Burnout to a Newfound Love For Teaching
With long hours, countless papers to grade, and often times little appreciation, teaching is a wearisome job. For teachers like Janet Tombre, the boxes full of assignments and papers to grade, not only cut into her personal time after school, but also into her weekends.
Yet, with the use of digital tools such as Schoology, Tombre's Language Arts class is now virtually paperless, freeing her up to get back to actually teaching.
"Four years ago I was reaching the point of total teacher burn out and looking for another career," she explains. "Schoology saved my career, my sanity, and transformed the way I think about technology and its use in the classroom."
The amount of time Tombre spent planning and grading seemed to suck the joy out of the profession she once loved. "I was so overwhelmed. I knew I needed to change the way I did things before I went and put my application in at Starbucks, but then I stumbled upon Schoology by chance or fate," she adds.
This chance encounter changed how she looked at teaching and even renewed her passion for it.
A New Life in Education
Tombre's students now submit their papers and assignments online, participate in online discussions that span several classes, and now "own" their grades through better organization. The calendar, easy submissions, and assignments offer tools for success located all in one spot.
The students aren't the only learners either. Tombre herself has improved her own technological skills.
She states, "After several technology graduate classes, my confidence in using technology allowed me to change my assessments from the usual True/False and multiple-choice tests to movies, podcasts, and Prezis—all which Schoology supports.
"I love having all my assessments, assignments, and projects in my resources area so the beginning of the year is easy. I just 'publish' what is needed. I can concentrate more on teaching and mentoring my students rather than finding my plans and copying."
Parents have also joined in on the fun. The Remind app implemented by Tombre allows for easy access to assignments, calendars, and even parent-teacher conferences.
"With Schoology as my LMS, I created my district's first blended class ... I also mentor other teachers on how to create blended classes," says Tombre, who feels so strongly about the advantages of blended learning that she and one of her trained teachers presented at MACUL this past March in Detroit.
"I have become 'the go-to girl' for everything Schoology, and I've never been a go-to girl in my school!" Tombre exclaimed.
With Schoology, Tombre turned her slump at work into a passion once again. "I have transformed my classroom to a student-centered classroom where I am a mentor and a facilitator rather than a lecturer," she said. "I no longer am consumed by my work and can once again enjoy what I love doing."
Language Arts Teacher
East Grand Rapids High School
Educator of the Year Finalist
Written by Cyndi Amaya
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