Friday, May 23, 2014

The Old Fashioned Way

Everyone has those days.  You know... those days where you just want to get back in bed and sleep until the next day.  I had one last Friday.  And yet, by the end, at all turned out just fine.

Our superintendent was visiting our school Friday, so we were all ready to impress.  I had prepared all my materials and made my copies.  And boy am I glad I did.  Overnight it had rained buckets, enough to flood the road I take to work.  The alternate trip to school lasted about 30 minutes longer than usual.  No fear, all I had to do before the kids arrived was to get my Promethean board up and running and do a little last minute straightening.  No problem.

First thing, set up the computer..hmm, after a little game of cat and mouse with my mouse, I finally got ActivInspire open and my Promethean Board on.  Projector working fine, check.  Touch screen, not so much - no Promethean Board, really!? Well...on to plan B.  Isn't that what teachers do best - improvise!  A lesson one of my students also seemed to have picked up along the way, since he initiated taking the lunch count on paper by creating a nice chart for the kids to sign up on.

Mixed among the chatter of a busy Friday morning rings out, "Mrs. Rill, what are we going to do if the Promethean Board isn't working?"  "I know", replies another, "We can do it the old-fashioned way."  So that's what we do.  I write the plans on chart paper displayed prominently across the top of the Promethean with a "Please excuse our technical difficulties" message for our special visitor.  We then go about our day without the ease and convenience of our normal technology.  And the kids did great without it!  They worked on their independent work.  They played at centers quietly and without arguments. I was amazed, but not surprised.

I was meeting with a reading group when the superintendent walked in.  He observed the kids all working nicely.  He came over to our table and listened as we went over cause and effect.  He introduced himself and even talked with the kids.  No one mentioned our lack of a 'big screen.'  And our day continued, just as it did in the "old fashioned days."

It is amazing how quickly we become accustomed to the "new ways" of doing things.  When my Promethean board wouldn't start, I must admit I started to freak out.  What would the superintendent think?  How was I going to manage the day?  What would I do?  How would the kids react?  I momentarily forgot that just last year, I didn't have this wonderful technology.  But as all teachers do everyday, I used my creativity, flexibility and ingenuity and reverted to my tried and true methods.  Sometimes the "old fashioned way" really is the best way.

Happy Friday everyone!


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