5 Things: Old School Style
PONG, TRS-80S, AND THE START OF MTV…THOSE ARE SOME OF MY MEMORIES FROM MIDDLE SCHOOL. Last night we attended the Open House of our middle schooler. It’s really one of the few chances you have during the year to see their teachers in person. In elementary school we had many chances to help in the classroom, but by the teen years those moments are few. Our school makes the parents follow our child’s schedule in abbreviated form to meet each teacher in 8 minute gatherings with 3 minutes to change classes in between. I guess they do this to give us an appreciation for what our child experiences during the school day. As I sat there listening to each teacher’s guidelines and ideas for the school year I realized that though some things were the same, many of the items we are requested to supply or tools they need daily are dramatically different than what we parents experienced in our school days.
5 Things not required during “Old School” times (aka: 60′s, 70′s, and 80′s):
- Internet Access – Teacher Blogs – In our area it is simply expected that you will have internet access to view the teacher’s blogs nightly along with other calendar information. The teachers place study materials on the blog instead of printing and handing them out in class.
- Thumb Drives and Powerpoint presentations – Assignments are almost always done on a computer and kept on a student’s personal thumb drive. One teacher warned that if a student could not get something to print from their thumb drive that they could expect to lose that day’s credit for their work. Powerpoint or other multimedia is the expected skill that most 4th graders have mastered. By middle school these kids are masters of pulling a presentation together. Not nearly as much glue is used in presentations these days.
- Online Textbooks – Most textbooks are manually issued, but the students are told to keep them in their lockers and use only the online version at home so it won’t get lost. This then leads to the fact that each textbook has its own login information that you hope and pray your student places in their planner. You especially hope this happens before a deadline night.
- Online Grading Systems – Our school system offers a method for checking grades online. Both the parent an the child are given a login and once you setup the account, you can sometimes see the daily events unfold. One benefit: No surprises. One disadvantage: You micromanage your child to death. I would have been in big trouble with my parents more often if this had been in place in ‘my day’!
- Use of only “green” products without aerosol sprays in dressing rooms – Even the Coach’s standard message about middle school hygiene had a new spin. Because the aerosol is not good for the environment or more immediately, those who suffer asthma, the Coach asked that no one bring things like Axe into school.
As a sidenote, some links have been provided for disabling geotagging/locater information in phones, cameras, and on facebook’s new places feature through Becky Worley’s report on ABC’s Good Morning America. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with these things and make conscious decisions about how you want to handle this in your household.
Have a great weekend and don’t forget to keep commenting to enter for the Tempur-pedic Giveaway!