“Elementary is like the Wild West”

Today I attended a training on Fasttmath.  Our district has purchased some “seats” and we, as attendees of the training, got the full scoop.  Our head tech guy (not his actual title), Mike, was in and out trying to answer systems questions while the presenter was sharing her research graphs and walking us through student practice sessions and teacher reports.

At one point, after quite a few “how’s this going to work at my site” type questions, Mike said, “Elementary is like the Wild West.”  He was referring to our varied types/approaches/set-ups of computer labs, but I just laughed out loud, because elementary IS like the Wild West in so many ways!  And I say that with a huge grin on my face on this mild Friday evening after a day of math training.

Fierce galloping across the rough terrain in search of outlaws, i.e. trying to keep up with the curriculum that marches on.  A pause to admire a panoramic sunset over the plains, or the moments of calm when we observe our students and reflect on our practice.  The arrows flying out of no where–an ambush!  What about elementary doesn’t feel like an ambush at times?  A camp fire with hot chow and bunk rolls and cowboy chit-chat–sounds like a staff room lunch hour to me.  And let’s not even get into the free spiritedness of the Wild West and elementary teachers!  Finger painting with a room full of kindergarteners, five days of science camp with sixth graders or managing ePals from Australia to Petaluma.

Mike may be flustered that we’ve all made our own way with computer labs, programs and platforms, but it’s the Wild West and what’s not to love?

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