A calculated upswing.

Technology in the Classroom

This week has been Hard, with a capital Holy Hell. I have experienced an inordinate amount of steering-wheel tears, about Really Truly Serious Things in the news and at funeral homes, but also about an accumulating number of little things like forgotten wallets, long commutes, schedule changes, failed lessons, and other forgettable, preventable, entirely terrible things.

That being said, I got to talk to one of my favorite people yesterday and she said something about how I seem professional and positive, so I guess I better live up to that (even though this same lady accused me of being a posterchild for Seasonal Affective Disorder, the last time I bothered typing anything about my feelings in this little box.)

Exciting, positive things! My middle school students are finishing up their big research presentations on cultural topics, using the shiny new mobile lab that I finally was able to procure for my classroom. Last year we had a collection of 30 dilapidated old staff laptops that we could lug into our classrooms, so that kids could work on projects and research (provided that they only tried to use one program at a time, and provided that someone didn’t trip over the 30 cords snaking everywhere, since all the batteries were crap and needed to be plugged in constantly.) This year we have three mobile labs with brand new netbooks, and I am doing my part to monopolize them a few days a week for my middle school students to use for individual research projects. This is really exciting, and I love sharing technology with my kids, but I turn into a ball of paranoia as I make sure kids are carrying their laptops correctly, turning them on correctly, not straying from their assignments past the filters into scary internet-land full of predators or general shadiness. As a teacher, my second greatest fear is that someone will break, steal, or lose a piece of the school’s expensive new technology while it is under my care. (My greatest fear is of one of my students getting broken, stolen, or lost when they are under my care.)

This week I had a near scare about losing a laptop (I misplaced it) and a near scare about losing a kid (the office sent her to the wrong room), but they were false alarms. All is well.

Technology in the Classroom

Fourth grade is more fun; we play Spanish vocabulary games and nobody tries to hack past the school filters to Facebook.

Other great things! I am in the process of setting up my very first field trip, to the Detroit Institute of Arts. The art teacher at my school is collaborating with me, and we are bringing our 6th graders for a tour of “Art and the Spanish-speaking world,” (starting with the Diego Rivera mural, which is what I am most excited about.)

We were supposed to go this coming Friday, but we haven’t gotten enough permission slips back to pay for the bus. I have to reschedule, and maybe do some last minute fund-raising, but it’s going to happen. I am excited to get out of the school with my kids, and run around and look at art together. If things go well and we don’t destroy any of Detroit’s cultural treasures, and I don’t lose any of Detroit’s treasures under my care (see above), I will feel brave enough to plan further excursions. (Food in Mexicantown? Adventures in Mexico?)


What a magical place.

I will find out in a few weeks whether or not I get the Fulbright, in Spain. My life will be rearranging itself significantly around that news.

I also have a three day weekend. Bright horizons.

Other things that brightened my week:

Can I have the hall pass? My barrette fell into my butt. -Distressed 2nd grader

I don’t know why I play so much during class. I think I had too much wine at Christmas. -Dejected 2nd grader

Q: What kind of car does Frida drive? A: Monte Kahlo. -Brilliant 6th grader


5 Responses to A calculated upswing.

  1. I’m still chuckling at your student quotes :-D….

    I can also relate to the fear of one of your students getting broken, stolen, or lost when they are under my care (though we don’t have any technology to worry about at LINC :-P) as well as your fears about a potential field trip (I’ve survived two field trips thus far and have not permanently lost any kids in the process….yet).

    But seriously, that sounds like a fun field trip 🙂

  2. Wendy Kennedy says:

    I’ve been yearning to go to the Detroit Institute of Arts (and a chance to share wonder with kiddos). Need another chaperone along to help? Let me know!

  3. saracita says:

    Becca, I’m sure I’ll feel a lot more confident after one successful field trip. Both the art teacher and I are new at this, so we’re a little bumbling for this first one…

    Mama, I will let you know! You would be a great chaperone, because of your art experience… and I think you would also have a fun time. I might have to have you fill out some forms of some kind since you’re not staff or otherwise associated with the school, but it shouldn’t be a problem.

  4. Wendy Kennedy says:

    I can do forms. Just keep me posted (& I’ll pray it’s a day I can go!)

  5. chelsea says:

    hey, i want to be a chaperone too! i just want to go to the dia with you. date?

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