Congratulations to Katrina Turlington! Katrina is an MAEd student in Instructional Technology and the recipient of the 2016 Diane Kester award. We asked Katrina to discuss her work as a teacher and an Instructional Technology Facilitator.
Teaching is more than a career for me; it is my passion. I knew I wanted to go into education for as long as I can remember. My maternal grandparents were both teachers and education was always a top priority in my family, which is what inspired me to become a teacher.
I grew up in Williamsville, New York. After graduating high school, I moved to North Carolina to attend Campbell University. I graduated from Campbell in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. For five years, I taught 4th grade at Wayne Avenue Elementary School in Harnett County.
During my first year as a 4th grade teacher, I worked closely with the Instructional Technology Facilitator (ITF) at my school. I attended every workshop she offered and collaborated with her to learn how I could integrate technology into my lessons. Over the next few years, my interest in creating technology-rich lessons grew. My ITF became a mentor for me and inspired me to study Instructional Technology.
In the fall of 2014, I began working towards my MAEd in Instructional Technology at ECU. This program has not only prepared me to work as an ITF, it has also helped me grow as an educator. Last year I accepted a position as an Instructional Technology Facilitator at Benhaven Elementary School in Harnett County, which has provided me with the opportunity to apply what I have learned from my courses at ECU. Every week, I meet with each class in grades K-5 for a 45-minute lesson during which I teach students their grade level curriculum through the use of technology. I also coach teachers on how to integrate technology into their lessons by offering workshops and modeling lessons with their classes. My ECU courses have changed the way I approach my instruction so that I am designing more effective instruction for both students and staff.
As I continue on in my career, my goal is to improve upon my instruction and learn about new educational technologies that I can share with the staff at my school. I frequently seek out opportunities to learn more, whether it is attending workshops and conferences or reading about current research on best practices, so that I can meet the needs of the students and staff at my school. Eventually I would like to work at the district level as a technology coordinator.