The First Week

Today was day 8 back to school for the 2010/2011 school year.  So far so good.  My class of twenty-nine sixth graders are terrific–there are some quirky individuals that I just love and some that need more attention that I find very rewarding.  Plus everything in between–of course.

I’ve geeked out on Animoto with an introduction to Me to start the year and then a slideshow of our attempt at the Marshmallow Challenge yesterday.  We tried the Challenge once, watched the TED talk, then tried it again.  The next day we recapped the event with the Animoto slideshow.  A bit of electronica in the background and the kids felt like stars!  I highly recommend this activity for goal setting, skills being imperative to success, attacking projects with the right focus and working in a group.  Don’t forget the marshmallow!

My teacher computer continues to have issues with the BSD–Blue Screen of Death.  Not good.  Twice the new machine has been installed and run through it’s paces and twice the BSD has raised its ugly head.  Maybe it’s me?  So the old machine from 3rd grade sits, chugging along.  The only teacher who teaches the 6th grade social studies curriculum is the only one without it loaded on her machine–how sad.  And funny at the same time.

We are trying to keep up with all the tech issues/needs/wants on campus and the whole thing is overwhelming.  We’ve created a monster with no infrastructure (Lori’s favorite word).  Initially we were feeling self-sustainable and over time we morphed into if we show it’s possible, the support will come.  Wrong.  So now we beg and plead and yell and scream and ask politely and email and wait and wait and wait.  The cogs turn slowly so we’re left to our own burnt-out devices.  Burnt-out?  It’s only day 8!  But the problems don’t ever go away, the docket is never cleared and we only know so much.  But what is the alternative?

I’m motivated by my own new learning and the skills I hone every day.  I know more now than I did last week and I feel more and more confident in my abilities.  My major flaw: moving too quickly and not pausing to think.  Something to work on.


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