Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsey for creating that place for us to work collaboratively.
In the Midwest, our school schedules vary. Professional development schedules seem to vary even more. August is always the beginning of a new year. Sometimes it resembles March: if it comes in like a lion, then it tiptoes out like a lamb. Which was it this year?
Ready to learn
Ready for learning
And then the late summer hit.
Hot, humid, blistering tormenting weather!
Were there any signs of the oncoming weather?
Many . . . but what good is fretting about uncontrollable weather?
Exactly one month ago yesterday my computer died. It was the fourth day of work. The fourth consecutive day of training. All links were open and live when the screen went dark and stayed dark. It would not turn back on. Not one single light was visible anywhere. I was 50 miles away from one of our main offices with a class that had persevered in spite of the lack of air conditioning and internet access for the participants. Black screen of death.
It wasn’t a complete surprise. I had been “limping along” waiting for “after July 1st” and the new fiscal year. But the suddenness was still a shock. 15 minutes to class time.
Fortunately, I had my personal laptop that I had been using since the June and July Writing and Reading Institutes at #TCRWP in New York City (longest battery time of all computer choices). I was feeling a bit “schizoid” as some materials were on my computer and others were not. It sounded like a simple solution. “Don’t panic,” my internal voice said. I wanted to go outside and scream, plead, bargain “PLEASE, just one more day!”
Obviously it was not meant to be. I googled how to “present” a power point from my MacBook Air. Settings – display – find that silly “dongle” in the backpack and the magical “tech bag” – remote . . . . . each minute went faster and faster. My 15 minutes was gone. 3 minutes until show time. Plans D, E, and F were vague possibilities in my brain. “If this, then this as I pounded on the keyboard.” Calm? Not so much. Was panic helping? Not so much.
We were one minute late starting. Some materials for the day were totally not accessible because they were locked inside the black dead shell of a computer. Did we accomplish our goals?
Absolutely, yes! Because at 15 minutes to start time with a dead computer my goals changed. It was survival mode. Technology was not my friend.
Life sometimes fails for the adult. But what about our students?
Are there days when our students are in survival mode? Are we “in tune” with their needs? Do they need the comfort and security of the routines of our classroom? How do we make sure they also have a way to voice their frustrations? I’m not talking about a full day of whining and complaining. But what if it truly is not a good learning day because of events beyond their control?
What learning will you and your students negotiate today?
When have you had to scrap everything due to technology failures?
How did you “trust” technology again?
PS. So my good news is that I have my new computer. Last night I added:
- and this morning I am polishing off this draft of my blog post. Earth is back on its regular rotation. Life continues on!
What challenges have you already overcome this year?
How do we learn and grow from our own challenges?