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George Barcenas

My name is “Jorge”

Keynote

My name is “Jorge”

In my fourth grade year, I ran full into the buzzsaw that is education. I was a happy child that loved school and thought I was a good student. Every day I walked into the classroom and I learned how to read and speak a language that was foreign to me. Growing up in a Spanish speaking home every thought, word and idea were in Spanish. Coming to school was an adventure, where I was an explorer. What is the teacher saying? What do they want me to do? How do I say… Every day I navigated this new world with help in the form of pictures of action, vocab help, and patience.

When fourth grade rolled around it was like being run over by a bus. Everything went from learning to read, to reading to learn. All my instructions were now written in paragraph form. There were no clues to help me navigate this new world. I went from being an explorer to just trying to survive each day at school. The happy child that loved coming to school slowly changed to the frustrated child that hated education.

I see this all the time now when students face adversity and are overwhelmed, the whole child changes. School goes from a world of exploration to a minefield of frustrations. Being a teacher is not only about teaching content but also addressing that each student is on his or her own quest. Walking into a classroom is either about exploration or survival. Some students come to school with extra provisions for the quest, while others just with the shirt on their back.

Now I not only see this with students, but I also see with teachers who are overwhelmed by technology. When the teacher that has been teaching for years without technology is now thrust into a new world where every kid has a computer. How can we help teachers not feel like a child lost in translation? My name is “Jorge” is about embracing who we are and look at the struggles we have in teaching as chances to grow. Come watch, listen and finally embrace “Who we are” all the while using technology as our common language.

About George

George Barcenas is the Technology Coordinator/CTE for Bellevue Union School District. Trained as a PE teacher he has taught High School English, Spanish and coached Basketball from Middle School all the way to College. Technology has always been in his teaching from creating commercials in Spanish class to work on vocabulary to create a production of Romeo and Juliet with zombies… He now teaches coding, G-Suite and video design with iMovie and Adobe After Effects. In his current role, he also works with teachers to find the right tool to help the students. His passion for teaching has found a place with Google apps for education and pushing the boundaries of being geeky.