This teaching business is quite the harsh taskmistress. Just when I think I know the ropes, a seasoned professional with many years under my championship belt, I find myself reeling against those ropes, contemplating throwing in the towel.
In this day and age, we are expected to grab the students' attention, and hold it throughout the entire class period. Not so unreasonable, you might say. As would I. Twenty years ago. We have keen competition in this modern era. Drawing on the cave walls does not do it anymore. Heaven forbid anyone tries to give them NOTES. You've gotta produce a mini-series installment every day. Oops! That is OH SO EIGHTIES. What was I thinking? I might as well have said that I need to dress up like Sir Isaac Newton, give him a snappy name, and rap about the Laws of Motion. Dang! That was OH SO NINETIES. What I meant to say was...you've gotta post a YouTube snippet several times per class.
I refuse. Besides, YouTube is blocked on our school server. But I do make an effort. Today, we started a new issue of Science World, just to keep up with science that's going on in the world. Gosh! It's kind of like the name of that magazine! So I had everything set up to show the 2-3 minute video clips that come with my classroom subscription. I do it every time we discuss the new magazine. I previewed it on Monday. But when I pressed PLAY...nothing happened! Ack! That's my lesson plan we're talkin' about. Fail.
So we moved on to the online Jeopardy-style game on the articles. But seriously. We're supposed to use our technology. But our technology is unusable. What's up with that? Lucky for me, I've got a barrel of tricks up my sleeve for such occasions. No one was harmed in the crash of the lesson plan. All students left with their learning intact. And I was no worse for wear.
The kids later in the day said none of their teachers could use streaming video all morning. Some blamed the new wireless internet option that allows students to register their personal devices and use them in the classroom. FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY, of course. But an insider told me that is a totally separate server. That one won't affect the other. Like I understand any of that. Others blamed the solar flare. Or the weather.
All I know is, if I'm expected to utilize technology, it needs to be up and running. Just my opinion. And you all know how hard it is for me to express myself. I'm a regular shrinking violet. I'd show you a video clip of a shrinking violet...