Tuesday, November 27, 2007

proof (despite my reluctance) that this is a 21st century gig

Last week I took a job for a "basic math" course at a high school; it turned out to be a couple geometry classes plus a robotics class, a web design class and a programming class--all in a computer lab! The teacher had Burning Man photos on his computer, which I was allowed to surf on. I was the most popular teacher possible as I told them I didn't care what they did so long as they stayed relatively quiet and didn't kill each other (the teacher had written effectively "get whatever done" on the board)--one girl tells me "you should sub for us all the time" to which I feel I was too cynical in replying "what 'cuz I let you fool around? sorry but I can't help with the grade you still gotta do the work" (which of course was just a page or so of click-form geometry classwork website). Let me tell you, it was pretty rewarding pedagogically to have a kid say "hey check this out Mr. Hand" and then watch a LEGO catapult flip itself over (he explained that after stabilizing it the challenge would be to hit a target across the room--writing a program). It was nice to get a chance to do "on the clock" email websurfing newsreading and PKD research for a change (rather than the labors of continuous attention-grabbing and or silencing/disciplining more ambitious lesson plans require).

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