We have a number of Randolph employees whose roles are unique to our school and whose work makes a difference to the quality of the student experience. Our Lower School Technology Integration Specialist, Melissa Sconyers Tucker '04 is one of Randolph's Difference-Makers.
What do you do?
Lower School Technology Integration Specialist is a long title, I like to just consider myself “The Tech Girl.”
At school, I’m never without …
A device of some kind! Typically more than one!
What’s different about your work here?
At most schools, the librarian and the tech teacher are one person: the media specialist. At Randolph we are blessed to have a professional in each of those roles! This allows me to focus 100% of my time on the technologies we are using, what is new out there, and how we can better what we are currently doing for the next year.
When you tell people what you do, what kinds of things do they ask?
“Can I come to your class and learn with the kids?”
“We never did anything like that growing up.”
“WOW! Kindergarteners can do that?”
What’s your philosophy of working with Lower (elementary) School students?
I absolutely love Lower School. At this age children love school, love their teachers, and are eager to learn about everything they can get their hands on. I like to take this and run with it. I will often find resources and think of a specific student who I know will LOVE it.
What are some things people should understand about kids at this age?
Lower School students are way more tech savvy than most adults realize. I try to channel that to the creative outlets rather than “using a device for the sake of using a device." Technology is a tool. At Randolph, we use this tool to create. Patience is a big part of my class. Both for the students and myself. Things like logging in with a username/password can take kindergarten and 1st grade students a very long time because they expect the keyboard to be laid out in alphabetical order. With a lot of practice and patience, they get the hang of it and then soar past your expectations.
What does a child need to be happy/successful at school?
Curiosity may be underrated, but it can be seen and utilized in all aspects of an education.
Describe a great day at work.
The best days at work are when a student grasps a concept that we’ve been working on for a few weeks and you see the “light bulb” light up in their eyes. It reminds me of why I went into teaching!
What do you love about working at Randolph?
As an alumna, there are a LOT of things I love about working at Randolph! I have the opportunity to work alongside colleagues who used to be my teachers and mentors. I love watching children grow up right before my eyes. I love teaching them for five years and seeing how much they change from kindergarten to fourth grade. Being a K-12 school, I then get the chance to see those same students graduate from high school. Special doesn’t begin to cover how incredible it is to be a part of the Randolph faculty and family.
Favorite school tradition?
Kindergarten/Senior Buddies. No doubt! Being an alum, I had my own Kindergarten Buddy when I was a senior. I came back throughout college to visit my K buddy, Aly, and bring her lunch at school. Then when she became a senior, she got her own kindergarten buddy. And now I have the privilege of teaching my grandbuddy! I don’t know of anywhere else where I would have had the opportunity to be a part of something as special as this tradition!
Best time of the school year?
September. The craziness of “back-to-school” has passed, the kids are back into the swing of things, the teachers are in their groove, and things typically run pretty smoothly. We’re all looking ahead to what the upcoming year holds and there is excitement in the air.
Where can you be found most days?
In my computer lab, mobile with the iPad cart, or sitting down with multiple devices surrounding me: updating, installing, or just tinkering to find the best settings.
You can follow Mrs. Tucker on Twitter @MelissaTucker22.