The reason for my absence also speaks to the realities of being an urban teacher.
So I thought: what better way to bust back into the Turn and Talks scene than by writing a twofold explanation?
I have spent the past month and a half without reliable, functional technology. Here have been my options:
1.) Use the district-issued laptop. Pros: available; Cons: freezes in any Microsoft program (ex. Word, Outlook, PowerPoint - pretty much everything I need for the day)
2.) Use my own tablet. Pros: mobile, working; Cons: no mouse or USB drive; different applications than those at school - see below
3.) Use my home computer. Pros: powerful, working; Cons: immobile, different applications than those at school - so documents are not automatically compatible, and making them so requires an extra step
4.) Use the laptop that's attached to and used for operating my computer cart. Pros: functional; Cons: immobile, slow and precarious, used to project for about 80% of the day
I've tried to downplay the impact that this has had on my work, because I know that there are plenty of teachers out there who don't use electronics at all and get by just fine. But when we are encouraged to join the 21st century and come to expect that our devices will function and then they are suddenly taken away, it's a struggle to keep up. I have missed deadlines, blown lessons, come unprepared to meetings, and let commitments fall through because I have not been able to put plans, materials, and/or communication together. It may seem silly, but the difficulty of DEVOLSON has been magnified for me due to the lack of technology I've had at my disposal.
I don't want this post to seem whiny, but I do want to shed some light on what it's like to teach here. I hope it goes without saying that I have taken all appropriate avenues that I have been told to, from submitting a ticket through the online system to emailing my administrators to face-to-face follow-ups with them.
If I've mentioned this issue to my friends, they've said, "Don't you have an IT department?" Yes, we do. They're the people to whom I've submitted my tickets - plural because the first one was mysteriously closed out without someone so much as contacting me, let alone touching my laptop
Now, I have no idea as to the volume or types of issues they are having to handle, but I can bet that, as employees of a large, urban, public school district, they are overworked, overwhelmed, and underpaid. So it's not them that I want to blame so much as the system. And that's not especially productive. I'll settle for blogging about the whole thing and giving the world a little more insight as to my recent frustration.
BT Bubble Sheet
BT Bubble Sheet (BTBS) is a Dallas ISD middle school teacher. Visit her blog here for more blogs in addition to what she writes for us!
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