How Returning to Teaching Created a Better Consultant
A discussion with teacher, tech coach and consultant Tony Vincent
Over the last 15 years, Tony Vincent has journeyed from teacher to tech coach to his present position as a self-employed consultant. He formed Tony Vincent, Inc., in part, to take the burden off of teachers who don’t have the time to research and better understand new technology tools for the classroom. He’ll be sharing some of his classroom observations and insights at the 2020 Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) in January.
To gain a better perspective on what teachers are facing today, Vincent returned to the classroom for the last school year, as a fifth grade teacher in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He wanted to learn more about the increased demands on teachers dealing with the effects of new technologies on the learning space. Overall, the breakthroughs students were experiencing with technology left the biggest impression on him.
“[Teaching] day-to-day for the whole school year, reinforced a lot of things that I believed in ─ giving students ownership, having an audience for their work, and having them find a way to make a difference in the world. I opened my classroom up so that I could see everybody's screen and what everybody was doing at all times because that was what my group [of students] needed."
As a consultant, Vincent enjoys in-classroom consultation but has found the use of online exchange more beneficial than initially imagined. He explains, "I like doing online workshops because I can personally get to know everyone a little bit better, even though we are not in the same room, believe it or not. There is an extended amount of time to dig into creations and give better feedback than if I'm just there for a day looking over their shoulders on their computers."
Learning and implementing new technologies inside the classroom takes a certain level of classroom management to be successful. Having small-group-focused implementation means that the rest of the class needs quality engagement and learning to take place simultaneously. Vincent understands that teachers need certain "grab-and-go" activities to meet the needs of every student. He adds, "I'm looking to make some [activities] and share them with teachers, as well as curate to find things that will work with a tiny bit of instruction to free up the teacher to [successfully] work with small groups."
About Tony Vincent
Tony Vincent is a true teacher’s presenter. After years of self-employment as an education and technology presenter, Tony went back to the classroom to teach fifth grade in Council Bluffs, Iowa for the 2018-2019 school year. While he’s proud to have led workshops and presentations in almost all 50 states, empowering his students to be creative thinkers is his favorite professional accomplishment.
Tony is a prolific sharer, approachable, and consistently selects practical tools and strategies that can be implemented right away. To see what Tony shares online, click on over to learninginhand.com where you can explore his website and find his social media links. And, if you spend a little time with Tony, you’re likely to hear about his adorable six-year-old twins.
Follow Tony Vincent on Twitter
The 40th anniversary Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) will take place January 14-17, 2020 in Miami, Fla. Registration is now open at Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC)