Teacher Trenches: Tech-less

After a long afternoon doing nothing, I decided to help a friend, Lexi, change her classroom decorations. In the midst of doing so, a few of her co-workers came to sit and

hang out, inevitability leading to a discussion of their daily woes and why a teacher shortage is even a thing.

In the end I learned that in an ever-evolving world, teachers and students are getting the sour end of the deal.

While the conversation seemed to last for days, the jist of their complaints was a lack of needs being met, leading to a decreasing love for their profession, sending them skipping on the road to a career change.

So, check this…

Time was taken from early morning preps to train teachers on using smart boards and other technologies, but the tech is either out-of-date or not updated for actual use. The cherry on the sundae is the memo they received the next day, stating it would be close to 2 months before it was actually ready for classroom use.

You can imagine the comments of disdain following this portion of the rant.

This is also a huge unnecessary reason why some educators cannot transition to being 21st century teachers. It is not that they don’t want to, but the district is not doing enough to support their, what? Needs. The teachers are trained, but by the time the tech relevant to the training is available they will need to be trained all over again for a new system, once again using time that would be better suited elsewhere.

I found out teachers at Lexi’s school rotate when the computer lab (cart of laptops) is used in their classroom. If a teacher wants to use a program for their computer lab the day following their training, they will simply not be able to. Gotta wait not only until it is operational on all the systems, but also until their day for the computer lab comes around again (sometimes once every 2 weeks). By the time everyone is on break, the students have interacted with the program maybe twice.

*cue the slow clap, here*

In addition to the lack of access to what they need, the tech that teachers DO have is subpar and/ or not working consistently, so they opt to not use it at all in exchange for losing already limited class time trying to fool with a janky wire. Might it be more productive for districts to have the tech ready for use/ instillation the day the teachers are trained, instead of teachers being excited to use it, and having to wait to see if they will even have a chance to? Heck, wouldn’t it be a huge step up for the district to hire more IT pros that know more than how to turn the hardware on and off, then call Microsoft for help?

Younger teachers who are digital natives and older teachers excited to do better for their students, all want to take advantage of new methods. They’re told this generation learns better and quicker using technology but if teachers can’t have the tech, then you have disgruntled teachers. Disgruntled teachers are disgruntled employees, and well, that’s just bad for business.

Excuse me, terrible. That is terrible for business.

I wonder, what are some other teacher woes we may not think about?

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