Monday, April 05, 2010

What We Need

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Last week, trying to save paper, I ran two quizzes on one sheet and then went to use the "guillotine" cutter to divide the paper. As usual, I could not get it to work properly and my handouts were a ragged mess. A young teacher, watching me struggle, jumped up and showed me how to use the broken cutter. She had the same problem earlier in the term and Mr. AP was around to demonstrate the correct use for her. From now on, my half sheets will no longer be deformed.

A few days earlier, the copy machine jammed and Mr. Y was clueless as to how to fix it. Ms. J tried to help, but she was just as ignorant of the machines workings. Then, Mrs. P jumped in. When she had the same problem, someone was in the office that knew how to help and demonstrated the correct way to free the machine up so it could keep making copies.

One morning, I explained Ms. W that the riso machine would not work on any color paper but white when her gray original kept jamming the machine. I told her to make another copy in white and it would run fine. She thanked me and got her stuff run off in time for her class.

Mr. N is a master at changing the master in the riso machine, but not too many other people are.

Okay, I know these aren't exactly life threatening problems but they are problems that affect teachers every day. Not being able to make the copy might have serious lesson repercussions. We've spent infinite staff development hours doing all sorts of stuff that have no impact on our daily teaching and have no real meaning for most of us at all. It would be nice if at least one conference could be devoted to these problems.


Ricochet said...

I am pretty good at figuring this stuff out - so I always "teach" when I run up against someone who doesn't know how.

We have 3 risos in the building: 1 is unplugged because of construction, 1 needs a service call and 1 prints 60%. I am so not looking forward to going back to school but figure 60% beats 0%

Jen said...

totally agree with you. at our school, the tech people have to be called for all teeny tiny copier issues like REPLACING THE STAPLES when the cartridge is empty. So our copy job stops mid-copy and we all have to wait until the help desk ticket is entered into the computer and the tech person comes to save the day. wouldn't it be much easier to just show us once how to do it and we can just fix the trivial on our own?

Kim said...

I noticed that the common element in this was that there were colleagues that were willing and able to help out. Right now in Florida, we're facing legislation that will make this type of collegial help a massive disincentive. Our legislative "geniuses" have decided that at least half of our pay should be based on how our students perform on standardized tests. It'll be every teacher for him or herself, unless you just happen to be a nice person.