Working harder, not smarter…

Posted on 16 November 2011 by urbanmusiceducation.org

Hello blogosphere,

I have to apologize for being so absent lately, but things have been CRAZY! My family and I have been through a lot of health problems this fall and I am home today with my younger daughter who has a “tummy ache”. Instead of having the sub watch a video, I decided to try to have the kids get into the Music Lab and access the Harrington Music website, where I would upload a short video of myself instructing them on today’s lesson. Then they would post on WallWisher after they learned from Virtual Me, and then go play various games that I have linked on there. So all was planned, except I only had 1 hour to get dressed, get my oldest to school, make the videos for three different grade levels, make the Walls on WallWisher, publish the website, and check all of the links before the kids would arrive in my classroom with the sub! (And you wonder why I’m on anti-anxiety meds!…)

So, the plan was to have 4th grade do a Medieval webquest and read information about the Medieval period and comment about one thing they learned on their WallWisher site. That went pretty well, though I had only 6 commenters with terrible spelling. But at least I know they were getting it. Then 3rd grade was to watch a video of a powerpoint I had converted… scratch that…that I was YET to convert! The trick here was being able to get the powerpoint converted in time, and with several failed attempts with authorStream (worked for me in the past, don’t know what the deal was today), I ended up finding out that I can “Save as Movie” right in PPT! Arghh….

By that time, 3rd grade music was almost over and I called the sub to tell her just to direct them to play online games. I got the second grade movie ready but she told me that 6 of my computers were “freezing” and she just put half the class on the rest of them and half the class in the room watching a video. *sigh* So much for my 4 hours of work this morning!

Everything this year seems to be turning out like this. In an attempt to utilize more and more technology in my lessons, I am spending an average of 8 extra hours per week beyond my regular “plan time” (which just ends up being tech support time at my school) making flipcharts in ActiveInspire, PowerPoint slides, updating the classroom website and the school website, inputting data into excel and Schoolnet, and creating my weekly lesson plans using Planbook. Though I am in love with technology, I also am neglecting my family, and my health has been affected as well.

I am reminded of Matthew 6:24 which says “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” This is me with technology. It is a love/hate relationship for sure. Honestly I have to figure out a way to work smarter or all passion will be lost for this job. Everyone keeps asking me why I don’t work in IT for a large company. Really?! I cannot see myself in that world. I love kids and know that Harrington is where I am supposed to be serving right now at least.

So that’s my fall update. Until the next post, take care readers and please feel free to comment and offer any suggestions or sympathies.

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