|Karns, K. (2008). "What's in my bag." http://bit.ly/IXSjiJ|
Something that I've observed regarding integrating technology into lessons is that most subs don't understand the overall assignment, or don't know much about the technology that is being used. How does that affect the classroom if the missing regular classroom teacher?
Based on a recent experience, I would say poorly.
Please don't mistake this as a harangue on the substitute teacher. I have many to choose form that are perfect for my classroom: energetic, tech savvy, and possessing of a good dose of common sense. There are some who I have asked never to be be assigned to my classroom ever again. The reasons for those folks are less than exciting: they mostly didn't want to be in my classroom. Still, there are days when the best classroom plan is "silent sustained reading," simply because what I had planed to do would take more time to explain in a written plan than would actually take to implement by the substitute teacher.
The issue is this: the classroom teacher who integrates technology into their lessons/units/courses puts a lot of time and effort into the thought and planning process. If they do it right, they consider all of the benefits and pitfalls of implementing technology in their classroom. They are damn near experts on the software, hardware, and perhaps even the research behind its integration. They are prepared for all of the successes and failures that will come.
|Kirkland, M. & Selman, M. (2009). "Bart Gets a Z."|
The easy answer is "well, when I get back, I'll get everything back on track." The problem is - based on actual experience - is that the nagging back pain might be a kidney stone blocking the essential plumbing. (You'll miss three-to-five days because of this, but the painkillers are amazing.) This means your sub will be on call for many days in a row. That's a lot of time to have to "get everything back on track." You may not be able to schedule the substitute who understands exactly what you are doing in your classroom. What do you do then?
I wish I had an answer to this one. I'm fortunate that I work in a school and a department who support integrating technology, but they also have their own classrooms to tend to. Sometimes you have to restort to the "life gets in the way" philosophy. Perhaps your technically infused lesson will have to wait until your return. In my experience, a day or two delay is not a lesson killer; a week is a long time to let things go without specific instruction. I've had those days where specific instructions were left behind, along with the caution "please make sure they are working on their projects." I've always received the report the next day that "those kids really worked and were focused on the computers." Many times, the work wasn't project related. Kids are still kids when it comes to the substitute teacher.
How do you handle the heavy tech lessons when a substitute has to step in for you?
UDATE: And, oh, by the way, Happy 2nd Anniversary, BlamSpot! I can't wait to see how you handle the terrible twos!