Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The End-of-Year Nervous Almost-Breakdown

Yes, there are only days left in the school year. But… wait… the work isn’t finished yet! There are podcasts left to record, spreadsheet games not fully calculated, films to view and winners to award, feature articles whose columns aren’t edited, astronomy calendars to collate, “100”s charts to color, animation projects without end, NJ charts and tables to print, and 500 grades to finalize. School cannot possibly be over so soon. I’m not ready!

For weeks I’ve been in the midst of writing two blog posts but not feeling inspired enough to finish them. It seems that technology cannot come to the rescue. It cannot save itself. The Tweet Deck is constantly announcing, with its subtle, bird-like call, so many interesting meetings, conferences, websites, book talks. I should be reading all the tweets and visiting all the sites. My uniquely designed Internet reader presents me with about 18 blogs and RSS feeds, each demanding my attention to important news items, technology gadgets, teacher techniques and resources, sports articles, and other items of both personal and professional interest. How can I resist their allure? I can’t!

So, the grades are emailed, the podcasts are posted, the calendars are complete. There aren’t enough recess periods left in the week to squeeze all the frantic students into the Lab to finish their projects. They will trickle in and out of my room to type a little, print a lot. It happens every year. And the last day will come, whether they are finished with the work or not.

The contents of my desktop (the wooden one, not virtual) will be dumped into a crate and stored. The documents folders of the 27 computers will be dumped onto a firewire drive for next year or posterity. The incoming supplies for the fall will be catalogued and shoved into closets. The shelves will be covered and everyone will go home, even if there’s work still to be done.

Maybe I’ll finish writing those blog posts this summer. Or maybe the Tweets and blogs will be too tantalizing to resist. If I were a swimmer I’d be gasping for breath, tired of treading water and afraid I won’t come up for air. But I’m a teacher, so I’ll sit on the beach with dozens of issues of technology magazines that demand reading. I’ll clip articles and jot down lesson ideas. I’ll get excited by new ideas, new software, and activities for my 500 students in the fall. I’ll start planning how to bite off more than I can chew so next year, come the end of June, I can use this blog post again ☺