As my personal COETAIL experience comes to an end, I want to hopefully inspire some of you out there who are considering joining. Check out my video below to hear more about my experience!
My Journey to COETAIL
Back in 2013, a teaching couple that I was working with in Seoul, South Korea told me about COETAIL. I was looking for a professional development opportunity in the area of educational technology and COETAIL sounded like the perfect fit for me. However, I decided to get my Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction instead.
During the time I was getting my master’s degree, I met several other educators through conferences I attended that had completed COETAIL. All of these educators impressed me with their skills, leadership, and knowledge. They were a great reminder that I should still join COETAIL!
After a few years, I had completed my Master’s Degree and was ready for a new challenge. In 2020, I was finally ready to begin.
SEt a Goal
At the beginning of each school year, my principal asks each teacher to set 3 goals for the year. To hold myself accountable for finally signing up for COETAIL, I made it one of my yearly goals. This meant I had to do it! There was no backing out or putting it off another year. I was also encouraged because my principal was enthusiastic about the idea!
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Because two other teachers at our school had already completed the program, my principal was familiar with COETAIL. This was helpful because she was aware of the opportunities COETAIL would offer me as well as the benefits my students would reap from it. Furthermore, I had seen one of the COETAIL alumni from my school move from a classroom teacher to a S.T.E.M. teacher. Her COETAIL certificate had opened up this opportunity for her. Seeing those doors open for this teacher, motivated me even more.
COVID adds an extra Challenge!
Six months or so after setting my goal of joining COETAIL, I joined cohort 12 that began in February of 2020. Right around the same time, schools were starting to shift from on-campus learning to home learning because of COVID-19. Doing home learning while working on COETAIL was challenging.
Spending hours on Zoom with students each day, creating video-recorded lessons, and keeping up with grading was time-consuming. It was difficult to find the motivation to complete my COETAIL work because I had already been on my computer all day.
However, we (my cohort and instructor) were all in the same boat. Our instructor, Joel, was patient (as our work came in slowly) and our cohort was able to support one another by offering ideas and suggestions. Doing home learning while working on COETAIL allowed me to explore new technology tools I had never used before while building deep learning opportunities that students could access from home. Plus, I was able to use the material I was creating for COETAIL in the home learning environment.
COMING TO AN END
As my COETAIL journey comes to an end, I can honestly say that this has been one of the best professional development opportunities I have been apart of. I have grown my PLN, added a trunkload of new resources and tools to my teaching “toolbox,” and witnessed my students benefit from the deep learning experiences I have created throughout the past year.
If you are looking to grow your PLN, engage in global collaborations, and transform student learning, COETAIL is the place to go! You’ll be supported by your instructor, cohort, and COETAIL Alumni. Don’t put it off like me. Make a plan and achieve your goal!
I’m also interested in hearing your journey to COETAIL stories! How did you hear about COETAIL? Did you join right away or put it off like me? What advice do you have for future COETAILers?