Tuesday, August 08, 2006

One of those days...

I made lots and lots of friends today. Well, those in my department who didn't already know that I'm demanding and obnoxious and will not shut up if I don't get what I need. I suppose this makes me sound like some annoying person who thinks they're entitled to everything. I just look at it in terms of I was hired to do a certain thing in a certain way using certain tools.

Without going into it too much, there is a limited amount of technological toys to go around. More have been promised, but these things take time. And unlike other schools where I've taught, things actually do arrive eventually. You just have to be okay with it being on a geological time scale.

So... there was an enormous brouhaha throughout the school. Some people have Smartboards! Some of those people are not, well, the people who think they deserve everything nice and new, no matter whether or not they'll ever use it. Why do first and second year teachers get things that veteran teachers don't? Well, if you're not in education, you may not know that teachers are notoriously resistant to technology. I mean, I actually received an information sheet from another teacher yesterday that was TYPED. On a TYPEWRITER. And I'm not talking about some handout they made in 1982. Zoinks!

So, after our principal basically said, there were decisions made to get the initial Smartboards and it will take a while for them to be installed. Eventually, everyone will get one, but as previously stated, these things take time. So he basically told everyone to chill out and things would happen. And he's committed to making sure they do. Considering he actually got the things purchased, I can actually believe him. I'm not holding my breath, but I'm not about to say that it won't ever happen, which is what many of the "veteran teachers" are telling me. Because I'm young and stupid and inexperienced in the ways of schools.

So, our departmental meeting was a rehashing of who gets what and why. People in the department who didn't know already found out that a third-year teacher got one! Of course, she was first in line when they offered them back last year. I never understand why people don't understand that if you don't ask for things, don't get pissed when someone doesn't come bring it to you like Santa Claus. Oh wait, you do have to tell Santa what you want!

Things got a bit testy with the continued discussion of allocation of resources. Since there are now only two (one is MIA and one was taken away from us since someone from another department broke theirs), it had been decided that I would have custody of the LCD projector for the outside classrooms and someone else would have the inside one. Since there are about 10 people in the department and lots of them NEVER use them, this should have worked out fine. But then people started getting pissy. I'm sure people see me as a first-year teacher since I'm new to campus. Anyway, we went through this whole thing about how the dept. head would keep them in her room and check them out when people needed them for that day. Hahahaha!

I let the discussion go on for a while and then I raised my hand and said, I was hired with the understanding that I would have a certain level of technology and I need a projector EVERY DAY. And basically, they were like, that's not fair. Well, if I get it, I guess, but I'd rather say something now rather than everyone realizing that I have it checked out EVERY SINGLE DAY. Seriously, I need it every day. For my chemistry classes, although this fact seemed incomprehensible to my colleagues. So, I got upset and after the meeting the dept. head came up to me and I repeated what I'd said. Her response was that's what they promise you when they want to hire you. I said I wouldn't acccept that. When they hired me I promised a certain level of instruction, specifically using technology. I kept at her and she went off in search of someone to give me a projector. She came by my room about an hour later and said the associate principal found one that I should be able to use. Not a surprise, since she was one of the people who promised me that kind of thing in the first place.

Sigh. I kind of hope this doesn't get me in trouble with my dept. Since the dept. head already said she hates computers I offered to put together the chemistry lessons plans and syllabus and common tests we have to give. This is large part because I'm a control freak, but also because I can use the technology. For example, I write a test in about 20 minutes if I'm really anal, using the computerized test bank. She cuts and pastes (literally) and xeroxes old tests and...

Anyway, that's enough badmouthing for today. I am really excited about teaching chemistry. Putting together the schedule for the semester reminded me of all the cool things we're going to do. And another thing I'm looking forward to...


5 comments:

dmd said...

Today was one of the WORST. its almost 11pm and I am STILL mad at the whores.

Moses said...

In all seriousness - email me a copy of EVERY Chemistry document you produce!

Thank you!

Julie said...

CUT AND PASTE AND XEROX???!!! You must be joking! I bet she uses an overhead and a memograph machine to make the overheads and a chalkboard. What is this, the nineties? Hopefully she's close to retirement. Best to phase those old fogies out to pasture.

Kelli in the Mirror said...

Oh, that's insane. I do hope it gets better.

In my work study program at TCU I had to use a ditto machine. The kind that you manually crank and purple ink gets up to your elbows. I thought there were none left on the planet.

Kate said...

Actually I've been told that she still has copies that were made on the old purple mimeograph machine. I can't believe anyone still has them at all. The last time I used one was at Lincoln School when I was in, like, 4th grade.