Truly great teams are far and few between, sure there have been a few dynasties over the years and every once in awhile you get a team that dominates for one season, but the next year are non-existent. Debating great sport teams always makes for great conversation, but you can simply fall back on their record in my opinion. But how do you pick the greatest tech team of all time....who knew it was a competition? Actually, it's not, I don't need to compare my department to others to know if we are doing a great job or not. Every environment is different and the needs will vary, but I do know that I have an amazing staff in place for a number of reasons.
More Than A Tech
So let me elaborate (brag) a bit on those reasons for a moment. Our district techs have the title of Itinerant Technician, kind of old school terminology, but they do travel from site to site so the title has remain unchanged. These three guys are far more than a geek squad that come in, replace a power supply and then run to the next job. They spend time working with teachers and even students as technology integration is taking place in the classroom. They are not integration specialist (we do have a great one of those also), but they have a level of understanding of our software/hardware that allows them to assist if necessary. They understand that we are here for the students first, and this has allowed the shift from being a repair person to someone who may need to make a repair, but show the student/instructor a few surface layer how to instructions to get them rolling. They definitely need a new job description and title, as do our System and Network Admin. Their job responsibilities extend far beyond hiding in dark offices and they never lose focus of why we are here.
This is a novel idea, but I believe that Warren Bennis says it best, "trust is the glue that holds organizations together". Trust is something that has allowed our department to grow as a team over the years. Bennis talks more about how trust is earned not given and that is a process that doesn't happen in one day, but over time. I trust each member of our department and know that they communicate with our teachers and staff to provide the best service possible. Their trust for one another allows them to collaborate on issues that one individual may not be able to solve on their own and they push the department as a team to innovate, and work outside of their comfort zone. We are not perfect and continually try to improve, but we shoot for perfection and have fun on the journey.
We recently had a get together at Bethany's place to celebrate another great school year together. Bethany Purcell wears a number of hats in the district and one is tech secretary, and also e-rate assistant. She is a shining piece of our team and unfortunately will be taking off her tech hat next year. The good news is she will be close by still and always considered a member of the team! The other good news is Liz Maher will be picking that hat up and bringing her graphic design/webmaster skills to the team, and will be a great fit.
I wanted to take this opportunity to publicly thank every member of the tech department for a great year and look forward to a busy summer in preparation for the 2011-2012 school year. Being part of an amazing team and the ever changing world of technology makes coming to work everyday very easy.