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Saturday, January 29, 2011

"Sometimes kids just need to learn to be bored"

That was the conversation  that was had in the staff lounge today when I brought up the topic of the need to incorporate technology in the classroom.  I feel it's very important to have the students taught using all sorts of different types of media, and they should have hands on learning experiences with technology as well.  But one of the teachers actually said to me, "why should they have to have so much technology?  Sometimes people are bored in life and they just need to learn to be bored."  As I was sitting there with my mouth half open trying to process this comment, I was in utter shock and awe that all the other teachers agreed!!!  What is wrong with these people?  I guess I'm just a different generation, and I recognize that my students are from an even more different generation, I need to help teach them in the best way that will engage and excite them.

We have a Mac laptop lab that our PTA spent $34,000 on last year to help incorporate more technology in the school.  I convinced my principal to let us store the laptop cart in my room so I could use them more often, and he more than willingly agreed.  I use them several times a week with my class and their level of engagement is huge!  They are using the computers to do research projects related to their curriculum, we are using the amazing website "National Library of Virtual Manipulatives" which helps them bring math concepts to life, they LOVE to write now because their final drafts get typed, and it's amazing how much longer their rough drafts have become all on their own because they realized that a handwritten document vs a typed one is a very different!  The sad thing is, out of the whole school, only 2 other classes use the computers once a week, and one of the teachers just let's the kids look around on websites and uses it to punish the kids who aren't in the "gold group" (whatever the heck that is).

One thing I've learned as a teacher is that someday when I am a mother I need to be very active in making sure I know who my child's teachers are.  I really do believe in public education and feel children can get a great education!  Every schools is going to have some duds, and some amazing teachers too.  I just need to make sure I get to know my school well enough to get in good with the good teachers!

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