Thursday, August 23, 2007


Sophanne and I have been blogging about the same meeting. Yesterday the entire staff of our school district (1000+) had to meet at our local university in a town already packed to the brim with 27,000 university students. Brilliant idea. And then the speaker, who was mostly interesting, sang our schools' ( all of the schools in North America) Swan Song: Technology is leaving us behind. America's days of economic leadership have come to an end. Our schools have become "museums". All because we focus on standarized testing. (And it's taken him how long to figure that one out?)

Now, I'm not saying that I disagree with him, but he's preaching to the choir here!

I agree with Sophanne. Related Arts teachers have the capability to use technology and use it well in real life applications in the classroom. But we are the least likely to get it. During our staff meeting today we were asked how we would use a video as a type of a tool. I said, "First I'd get my imaginary laptop out. And then I would use it on my imaginary white board..." They cut me off. I didn't even get to the part about interacting with it, Power Point and Internet. When I get evaluated as a teacher, there is a "use of technology" section. Do you know what most principals fill in there? "Uses instruments".

Thanks for letting me blow off steam, sorry for the bitter rant. Thus, the ice cream, and I don't even like ice cream. I remembered that as I was at the bottom of my cup.


Yarnhog August 23, 2007 at 11:59 PM  

I am constantly in awe of teachers. You folks take very limited resources, kids of all different backgrounds and ability levels, and criticism from every side, and turn it into miracles on a daily basis. I love my kids' school. I love their teachers. I love their principals (we have two). But you teachers can't do it all alone. I am a former PTA president, current PTA Board member, school newsletter editor, volunteer tutor, classroom volunteer, and the school foundation's pro bono attorney. I'm convinced that the solution to the problems schools face lies in getting parents involved. Our school district does not provide for music or art education, so I made sure when I was PTA president that we put those programs in place at our school, and the PTA pays for them each year. Another parent has arranged for major donations of computers and other equipment from Hewlett-Packard, and a third appealed through the local media for grants to fund our academy program--and got them. These are just a few examples of things parents have done at our school--and we are a low-income school whose kids speak more than 30 different languages at home. Parents are a vast untapped resource--the trick is in finding ways to connect with them. Anyway. I hope tomorrow is better!

Lydee August 24, 2007 at 5:48 AM  

Yarnhog, bless your heart! You are wonderful. Thank you for the wonderful reminder. Our PTO has been very supportive of the arts. And I know they're always willing to help. Guess I need to learn how to ask for help!

sophanne August 24, 2007 at 5:59 AM  

Now the really funny part is that last night after all of this blogging I went to DQ to get some IceCream. I would get married to ice cream and may have to since when I came home great husband Bob (who said he didn't want any-and then promptly forgot he said that) clearly felt very upset that I didn't BRING him any ice cream that he said he didn't want but secretly did. It's all part of the catch-22 as far as I can tell!

Lydee August 24, 2007 at 6:06 AM  

LOL! Shame technology can't give us a transporter. Then you could have ice cream transported to GHB.

Haley August 24, 2007 at 8:15 AM  

sophanne--always bring the husband ice cream. if he refuses it, then you get two!
lydee--i used to be an elementary teacher. aren't there so many great "theories" out there that never get turned into practice because of a little thing called money? hope you get some technology one day. --haley

uberstrickenfrau August 24, 2007 at 9:42 AM  

Well, I kinda said my thoughts at Sophanne blog! Ditto for here! I think if we follow the example of china and have to be like them, we take the human out of the picture and become a nation of borgs trained to work in factories .

Sheryl August 24, 2007 at 12:46 PM  

Nothing like a motivational speaker to get the year off on a positive start. And yes, it is every teacher's responsibility to personally purchase state of the art computers for every student and if you just talk nicely to your US representatives they will gladly reprieve the "test" for you this year. YEAH RIGHT! Teachers are victims as much as anything to the system.

Interesting how an instrument linked to the beginning of music development in countries all over the world is such a technological wonder. I guess take the credit and file the evaluation to pull out when you need a laugh.

The_Add_Knitter August 25, 2007 at 8:32 PM  

Well at least he was bashing standardized testing, right?? Sheesh, how frustrating. Sometimes working within an institution is so deeply maddening, I experience this myself a lot.

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Hmm, seems somewhat redundant. I'm a mom of 2 lovely ladies. I'm the wife of a triathlete machine. I'm a general music teacher in a public school. I like to take pictures of things, especially things i consider beautiful. I like to share. As long as it isn't food. Enjoy!

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