Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Tech Woes

Yesterday I got in early, which I pretty much always do. I have a workbook I use for homework, but I've now reached volume 2 and I haven't got that. Actually the school owns this book, but cleaned out our bookroom and the one next to it. The dual bookroom had a wall removed and is now a JROTC classroom. I think it's awful, but they claim to like it and who am I to argue?

Fortunately, I collected enough books for a class set before the conversion. But I've searched the new locations several times, and there is neither hide nor hair of any book I use. I'm sure the organization system, which entailed having a bunch of volunteers move everything, had some rhyme, reason or both. However, I cannot detect any.

So I wrote my own assignment, on my little Macbook, and tried to print it. But guess what? The printer didn't work. I loaded it with paper and it still didn't work. I went to another department office where another printer didn't work. Fortunately, as chapter leader I share an office with a corded printer that actually works. (I usually only use the office if I have a very private conversation. This happens rarely enough that I'm the best office mate anyone could want.) With my first success of the day, I went and made copies.

Then I went to the classroom to put up my PowerPoint. But my code didn't work on the computer. The little Apple wheel moved round and round, but it wouldn't let me in. Not being one who's easily dissuaded, I tried our generic "teacher" login. After all, I had the password and everything. But the machine, perhaps sensing I was trying to trick it, rejected that login as well.

Then I wrote everything on the board I'd prepared for the PowerPoint, and set out to check who'd completed the homework. I got on my little computer and logged on to Skedula--well, actually I didn't. It turned out the internet was down. Why? Who knows? DOE internet is moody and does what it feels. So I collected the homework, which I hadn't intended to do today, and the students will get it back tomorrow. My marking hand seems to still work.

These sound like little things, but they happen one after the other, and they seem to happen all the time. I'm not a Luddite, and I actually enjoy working with the computer. But the least they can do, if they want us to utilize them in class, is to keep them in reasonable repair and make them readily accessible.

We don't break. We plan every day and are ready for whatever. And for that, we are vilified by the press, the government, and as often as not, our immediate supervisors. What are the consequences for highly ineffective working conditions? Likely as not, someone lecturing the teacher on failure to adapt or differentiate.
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