Monday, December 10, 2007

an educational bris

When an email begins with:
The entry below is why I want no part of blogs or wikis for class discussions..
I find myself thinking about the days of yore...

Remember assigning papers and students would submit their papers? From my end, these moments were exceptionally fulfilling because seeing all their work neatly stapled and piled upon my desk meant that my assignment had been effective.

However, grading those papers and painfully going from page to soul-crushing page made me experience full-throttle antithesis. These due-date honoring students had turned in what amounted to berry-less boxes of Crunch Berries. About mid-way through grading any given set, I suddenly felt like a highly ineffective teacher.

Their papers represented the epitome of suction. In order to re-establish my efficacy as a classroom instructor, I immediately wanted to punish my students' for their lack of adherence to the CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS & SPECIFICATIONS that I had outlined. But that's just a coping device to avoid taking ownership over the problems that I perpetuated.

Teachers are people too, and we are an adroit lot when it comes to the art of instructional separation.

Case and point:

Mr. Stevens wants to use technology. He wants to use it as a platform for students to demonstrate their understanding of the current content. He is, by nature, not a willing tech integrator and whenever he and I meet to plan, he often says things that distance himself from the technology.

At first, I thought these statements provided insight into his lack of knowledge or confidence about computers.

But I was wrong!

Turns out, Mr. Stevens constantly distances himself from any technology because then he can point and wave his teacherly finger at me if problems arise. If Mr. Stevens takes ownership over his desire to use technology, then he would have to deal with feeling ineffective when things don't work according to his preconceived notion of successful teaching. But Mr. Stevens doesn't want to feel that way. His students have been submitting papers with due-date precision!

All is right in Mr. Steven's classroom.

So, when he does make the choice to use technology and he receives this email:
hi mr stevens its jimmy i am sending are project but there was a problem since i showed up late and kate didnt andy gave us what we should do so he did the pic and about me so i got the blog and wall comment and kate got the top friends and likes and we were all going to do the works cited so i finished everything i needed to do and so did andy but i looked and nothing was where kates part was supposed to be i facebooked her cause i didnt no her phone number or email so i just imed her but i am not sure if she got it but here is out project any way i dont no if you want to check it with us just giving you our id and pass and our pass is Jackson but if this doesnt work then we can do it in class tomorrow thank you and ill see you tomorrow
then it's my problem, not his and he feels completely validated to dismiss technology.

But part of me wonders: what the hell do his students' papers look like?

No comments: