Wow – where did summer go? With a blink of an eye, my summer fun with family is shifting into another season of school. Although I took a hiatus from blogging (lots of traveling with no laptop), my days were overflowing with kindness – given and received.
Now I’m embarking on another type of kindness and I’ll admit, it’s making me feel REALLY uncomfortable. As many of you know, I’m a technology integrator which means I help students, teachers, and administrators incorporate technology in their own learning processes. It’s an exciting job because technology is always changing, but it’s also a challenging job because… well, technology is always changing!
In my school’s computer lab, I have a desk in the back corner and for years (eight years, in fact!) I’ve always told people, “No, this isn’t my room – I just have this corner I work in.” But my corner isn’t really ideal for working with teachers OR students. If someone wants to collaborate with me, they are stuck pulling up a chair on the edge of my desk or, even worse, we have to scrunch up in between students who are seated at the tables with laptops.
My vision is to create a space that is open and inviting, comfortable seating and welcoming to everyone, kind’ve like the feeling you get when you walk into a Starbucks. I even have a name for this new area – Tiny Tech Cafe. I created a logo this summer, designing it digitally then painting it on canvas.
Which brings me to the uncomfortable part.
I have the space, I just don’t have the stuff.
The things I would love to have in my computer lab are actually pretty mundane. A tall bookshelf with some current educational books available for teachers to borrow. A few round tables and chairs. A sofa to sit on and collaborate.
Then my brain gets excited about the possibilities. I could have an area where I offer teachers coffee or tea! I could have another area where I can put up a green screen for students to create virtual reality photos and videos! I could have an area rug and a floor lamp, too!
Calm. Your. Self. Down.
All good things come with a cost and this is no exception. I spent most of my summer scrounging yard sales and online forums for low-cost items and I found some, but not enough to make my dream a reality. I saw an online post about GoFundMe and how they would donate $50 for every teacher’s campaign that reached $250 in donations before the middle of September.
So… I did something I’ve never done before.
I asked people to help furnish our computer lab.
You know that old adage, “It’s better to give than receive?” I will say that it’s 100 times EASIER to give than receive. Oh, how I hate asking people for help (even when there’s no money attached to it!)
But you know what? When you ask for help, people step up to do just that. They help.
So far I’ve had 7 people donate money to my Tiny Tech Cafe campaign. I even had one of my school’s parents offer to buy some Command hooks for me so I could hang all the pictures and canvases I purchased over the summer. Oh, I am so blessed!
I still have quite a ways to go to earn enough money to get the things I need, but I wanted to take a moment and say THANK YOU to those who have made a donation. You have truly warmed my heart and your kindness and generosity will be felt by all students and staff at Mechanicsville Elementary!
I would love for you to join in on the fun, too, and be a contributor to our Tiny Tech Cafe! Would you consider donating to our campaign or sharing this post? When they say “It takes a village”, it’s so true! In the coming days I will post updates (with pictures!) so you can see how I transform my boring little corner into something spectacular!
I hope you find simple and small ways to bless others with kindness. For me, I am blessed to have you as a faithful reader as we kick off a brand-new school year!
2 thoughts on “Tiny Tech Cafe”
I like the idea !
I am a technology integration specialist in Michigan and I, too have a tiny tech cafe in my office. I love your logo! Do you have a creative commons license on it? Would you mind if I use it? You can send me a tweet at @jilljohn. Thanks!