Jul 2, 2012

Teacher Field Notes: Certified Scrum Master


Feb. 28th, 2012

I had the great opportunity to attend a Scrum Master workshop Feb. 9th and 10th and I'm amazed at what I have gained from the experience. I am a 4th grade teacher that has been teaching for 10 years. I have taught 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th grade. I have been using the Scrum process with my 4th grade students this year. My students have gone above my expectations with this process. I couldn't wait to go to the workshop because I knew my students were ready to learn the whole Scrum process in class. I started out introducing the Product Backlog and Sprint Backlog. I then introduced the team Retrospective board. I couldn’t wait to learn how to implement the Burndown chart and clarify some of the Scrum process that I was still unclear about.

My first day of the workshop I was sitting there, the only teacher surrounded by business people from banks, health insurance companies, grocery chains, phone companies, and IT employees. All of a sudden it hit me, I felt like I was sitting there with former students of mine. I felt like I was sitting there seeing what my students were having to go through being adults in their work force. I realized that I didn’t prepare my students as well as I would have liked to. At the beginning of the class most of the business people there were required to be there by their company. They were there because their company wanted them to work more collaboratively and be more productive.

 It hit me that, that is what we as teachers are asked to do or strive to do. As a teacher are goal is to reach the highest cognitive level possible and get them to work collaboratively. As I was sitting there I realized that this is the perfect opportunity for teachers to start using Scrum in the classroom. If we teach our students the process now it benefits them at a young age and even more when they are adults in the work force. I came to realize this within the first hour of training. As the day went on we continued to go through the Scrum process and steps.

 I then realized that this is much bigger than just getting students to use it. If we want the full benefit we need to get teachers to use it themselves. I was sitting their thinking of all kinds of ways that teachers could use Scrum with their grade level teams and as a whole school. I was so excited I had to call my principal at my lunch break and tell him some ideas that I had. I wanted to get our teachers to use it during our team meetings. Our school has grade level meetings every Monday that we call our PLC meetings. We meet with special area teachers and our grade level to plan and discuss student progress. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to teach the teachers how to Scrum. My principal was on board and took it a step further and wanted me to present at our teacher in-service day the following week. I couldn’t wait to get back to my school and share what I had learned. I felt that I had gained everything I wanted to from the training and more.

 I was so excited to go back to my classroom and share with my students what I had learned. My students knew I was going so they were also excited to hear how it went. First thing Monday morning I changed a few things to make sure that we were using the whole Scrum process. We even started a Burndown chart. My students loved it and even got a little upset that we weren’t doing it this way sooner. I had to explain to them that I just learned about it when I went to the training. This experience has been eye opening for me and has really changed my thinking with how we should be working with our students. It showed me that we really need to change the way we teach so that our students are prepared for the future.

4th Grade Teacher