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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Supply Closet

My general response to teachers that say they can't use technology in the classroom because it is not available is that they should demand to get it. Digital video should be as abundant as staplers. Internet connections should be as fast as the copier. And SmartBoards should be like chalk.

Now that I have spent the first week and a half of summer school looking for and defend partial sticks of chalk I may have to change my answer. The summer school supply box was overflowing with dry erase markers which I had to return upon inspecting my room and realizing that I did not have a dry erase board, but rather the walls were adorned with the traditional green slate.

I returned to the office and requested some chalk. I was told that no chalk had been ordered. Somewhat shocked, but not necessarily appalled I went back to my classroom and found a half stick of chalk and two erasers. Considering the chalk usage for day one I figured that this may be enough to last the summer. If not then I would have to rely on the majority of the students being auditory learners. Unfortunately I did not take into consideration the chalk fiends. Much like a crack fiend they will do almost anything to get dusted (Dusted of course is current Ed. slang for the high a teacher gets from prolonged exposure to chalk dust.) By the second day my chalk was gone. I was reduced to using a bit of chalk so miniscule that it could barely be contained within the chalk clip. One misstep and it would be my fingernail grating the board instead of the chalk.

I can teach without SmartBoards, video cameras, blogs, and even chalk, but why should I have too. Doctor's can perform tracheotomies with a sharp steak knife and a Bic pen, but I'm sure we would all prefer a scalpel and sterilized plastic tubing.

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