The back-to-school season brings many exciting opportunities and challenges for educators — and as technology continues to become more prevalent in the classroom, these challenges are changing. Educators must balance getting to know a new class of students and making them feel comfortable in a new space while also navigating new digital learning tools and systems.
At McGraw-Hill, our back-to-school season is largely defined by our efforts to support educators as they encounter these challenges, so they can get back to fostering relationships with their new students. For the past few weeks, we’ve been focusing our Behind the Cube employee highlight series on just a few of our team members that work particularly hard during the back-to-school season.
Today’s highlight: Hillary Lester, Technical Writer
Can you describe your role at McGraw-Hill?
I’m a technical writer for the K-12 Digital Technical Support (DTS) team. I manage the DTS support page where we house customer facing support materials for K-12 platforms and products.
What does the back-to-school season hold for you? How do you prepare?
Back-to-school means a lot of traffic for the help site and a lot of inbound support calls and emails for the frontline agents. We need to have materials ready to support customers as they set up for the new school year. I work closely with our product teams and engineering teams to understand the changes they plan to release over the summer, and document those changes in article and video format. I also try to anticipate the most common questions that our service agents will get and create materials that answer those questions.
What are some of the challenges you face during back to school?
My busiest time of year is in the few months prior to the summer release, which is the biggest update of the year for our programs. We have to cram in a ton of writing, training, QA testing and video recording into a very tight schedule in order to have everything ready to go the morning after the release. It requires a lot of teamwork and time management. Inevitably there will be delays or schedule changes and our team must adapt and adjust in order to meet our deadlines. It’s a challenging time but also very rewarding to see it all come together!
What inspires you about working in the education industry?
Growing up my mom was a 2nd grade teacher and what always stuck with me was the amount of “behind the scenes” work that teachers do. Students have a 6-7 hour school day but a teacher’s day can easily be 10-12 hours with all the grading and extra admin work, not to mention keeping their classroom decorated for the different seasons of the year. It’s inspiring to see educators who put so much into their jobs and their students, even if they don’t always get the recognition they deserve.
For resources and support to help you start the school year with confidence, visit our Back-to-School Preparedness Page.
In addition to program and implementation support, it is our goal to support you on your professional journey as you perfect your craft. Here are just few resources on trending educational topics that you can utilize as you prepare to start the school year.