Well we just finished the second week of school. I got a brand new set of 4th graders and they are raring to go. My 50 year old school got a complete overhaul this summer. The walls of each classroom that were concrete block are now covered in a material that allows you to staple things to any wall surface in the room. I have 2 new whiteboards (the kind you write on with markers), and a brand new Promethean ActivBoard, the kind with the built in projector. The bathrooms have new toilets, everything has been painted fresh and I now have 8 ethernet drops in my room instead of 2. There is a white dome in the ceiling ready to accept a wireless router … but alas none has been installed yet. The laptop carts that contain eleven 1year old Macbooks and over twenty 9 year old iBook computers are still sealed shut with duct tape.
The IT department informs me (as I have mentioned here before) that our old iBooks won’t be able to connect to the new wireless system because they won’t take a 20+ digit access code (they are running OS 10.3). I’m hoping I can induce someone to help us out, otherwise our 1:1 program will die, but I can’t move on that until I can officially say we can’t access the new wireless system. So we sit and wait. I’ve been trying to induce businesses and the like to help us out, but no one wants to move until the iBooks are officially dead.
So here we sit hoping and waiting for IT to have the time during an extremely busy season for them to install our wireless system. I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime we are learning how to “do Mr. Crosby’s Class” and work together and support each other and work on a project. My old students come by and visit almost everyday (since the middle school is less than 100 yards away), and keep me updated on how they are doing. The other shoe set to drop is that my school and my school district did not make AYP … and so we are under the gun to raise test scores. We have a new superintendent here to orchestrate just that, so guess what we are hearing that means (test prep and data driven to the max (which is fine to a point, but much of the data is time consuming and bogus … but I’m staying positive : ) ) so I am a bit on edge.
Learning is messy!