Time to Vent

Monday, February 04, 2008 | 2 comments »

Okay, I need to describe a situation that happened today and it completely through me. I had some upper elementary grade students stop in the library to ask if they could work on an assignment in the computer lab. I asked what the assignment was and they described a project where they had to choose a place they wanted to visit and then do a little research and then create a tri-fold brochure about it.

Great project to integrate technology with, right? Use MSWord, talk about formatting a document into 3 columns, the internet for maps, pictures, research, etc? WRONG!

The teacher handed out a sheet of paper, slightly larger than normal typing paper, and is having the kids create this by hand. They are actually writing the stuff right on the paper, finding pictures and maps online - then cutting them out and glueing or taping the pictures on. Now that's meeting 21st century skills, right?

I happen to run into the teacher shortly after this and since I was going to be seeing her class later for their weekly time with me, asked her if I should spend some time in the lab helping the kids out with this - perhaps finding maps, or whatever. She said NO, that's okay, they have to do this all on their own. WTF? Let's not help them out, increase their technology skills, or even suggest things to help their project? Let's not teach them? I was floored.

I did decide to help the kids who were in the lab a little and did talk to the class about it when I saw them, but I didn't take it too far. When the teacher picked her class up, I, very nicely, suggested this would have been a great project to do on the computers. She responded, oh yeah, I didn't really think about that.

She mentioned future projects that could involve technology integration, but I'm not sure how much I want to push the envelope. There are a few of reasons for this - the first is her lack of interest in using my expertise to help her students. I know it's part of my job, but she also needs to take a step forward. Another huge reason I'm probably not going to jump in head first is because I can't stand her class. There are so many rude, obnoxious, and disrespectful kids that I truly can't stand the hour each week I see them. Sure there are some good kids, but the bad definitely outnumber them. Lastly, as far as this teacher is concerned, I'm not a big fan.

What would you do?


  1. sjt // February 5, 2008 at 8:45 AM  

    Maybe the kids are like that because they aren't engaged in the learning process. If they were asked to do this project in another way, perhaps they would have an entirely different attitude about the time they spend with you - and in their classroom.

    Maybe the teacher needs a swift kick in the tail to wrap her head around the concept that this is 2008.


    I would have been just as annoyed. Please post what you do and how it turns out.

  2. HappyChyck // February 6, 2008 at 11:07 PM  

    SJT has a good point. Perhaps the students would be better behaved with some focus. Wouldn't it be cool to find that is the solution to their attitude problems?

    As for the teacher...after working with my student teacher, who is as tech-savvy as any college student, I've noticed that most of her ideas for projects are not technology based. I think that it takes a certain shift in one's brain to think in those terms. Even if it's simply a Word document...

    With the whole picture painted, what would I do? I would put my expertise on the table and let people who wanted to learn come to me--students included. Perhaps if students had the option cut and paste with glue OR electronically you could focus on those who were interested and mature enough. It doesn't seem quite fair to the students, though. I'm not sure what your role and responsibility is, but you're right in that she needs to take some steps forward, too.

    Indeed, let us know how it goes!

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