Okay, so I haven't been the best blogger in the world, and I most sincerely want you to know I am still among the living. I will try to be better, but my family has been diverting my attention-- which is a euphemism for "they've been driving me stark raving mad and I've barely been keeping it together." I'm sure many others can relate to the madness which overcomes one when one is the parent of teenagers.
So I wonder if anyone can also relate to this?
I am being punished by the district IT people. I am being kicked to the curb like a truculent ten year old... and my students are the ones who suffer, as well as my own frustration which of course is no consequence in the calculus of the modern school, as many of those who teach can attest.
I have a computer which is admittedly gimpy. It is about three years old, but has a rotten brain, as they say in Young Frankenstein
. And I can't give this benighted piece of crap a "sedagive" to make it all better. But here's the best part, neither WILL the district IT people.
The district has hoops through which one must jump in order to receive the latest technology. These hoops require attending hours upon hours of classes on software that is either A) not necessary for my subject or grade level, or B) requires the use of ancillary items that are practically nonexistent in my building, thereby also rendering these programs useless. For instance, imagine taking a class in GarageBand with no access to microphones, or on iMovie with no access to a digital camera or a decent processor speed or updated hardware.
Imagine being expected to create a website on the district server (which goes down every time it rains, and we've had record rainfall) with software which is four years old and requires a "mere" fifteen to twenty hours to create a cartoony, clunky webpage which has all the charm of a watercolor done by an elephant. A blind elephant. With a broken trunk.
So I began this process, a while ago, but found that I resented the time away from my family to test out on software that would never either be willing or able to use. So I stopped. And anyone who knows me knows that "Never ever ever give up," is not just a quote from Winston Churchill to me, but is actually more of a creed.
So, now, even though the machine upon which I work has been recalled, the IT people refuse to replace it with one that actually is dependable and reliable. Unless I agree to twist my fat, middle-aged, and exhausted Great Dane body through poodle-sized hoops.
Then let us describe the firewall software that allegedly protects us and our students from dastardly images and video clips. F'r instance: type in the terms "Panama canal" or "analysis" or "breastworks" and you will run up against the firewall and its dire warnings that "this attempt to access inappropriate content has been recorded." Extra credit for those who can guess why the firewall is triggered by these terms. It's like smacking a fly with a dead and much-decayed mackerel, and then being surprised by the repugnant and yet completely ineffective results.
This is an IT department that is a confederacy of dunces. This is an IT department that lives and dies by the following sentiment: "Above all, we must abolish hope in the heart of man. A calm despair, without angry convulsions, without reproaches to Heaven, is the essence of wisdom."
So here's the deal: this computer will eventually die. You know it, evil IT bonobos.
And when it dies, I will sadly be unable to do all of the techy things, the mundane, annoying techy things like taking attendance, posting grades, answering parental emails, and the like that have been ladled onto me like two day old gravy by administrators and tech people who think that all I have to do in the world is dance to their evil, tinny, little organ grinding away like a scratchy rewound cassette recording of Justin Timberlake from back when he was a Mousketeer in lieu of this thing which is actually quite difficult called "teaching." I'm sure you've heard of it-- since...
it makes your insipid little job possible at all.
I thought I might remind you of this tiny fact, since if there were no teachers, there would be no students. And no students would equal no taxpayers who pay for you to waste countless hours listening to the Coverville podcast or whatever else you do in your ridiculous TRON T-shirts and anime tattoos.
And if you still don't get it, IT chimps, come on down and take a turn in front of thirty ennui-saturated teenagers and try to penetrate the fog of their existence with skills and curriculum. I dare you. And I'll spend a day in YOUR jobs, imagining that technology will some day replace actual teaching and human interaction.
Labels: a new task a day keeps the teachers underpaid, the teaching life