30 Years of Change

As I start my 29th year of teaching, I am reminded of all the changes that have occurred in the classroom.  I know I have had many different hair styles and colors, eventually going back to the original color. I began teaching in high heels and now have come back down to reality.  But the biggest changes would be the use of technology in my classroom.

I remember when my fingers would be purple from the ditto masters.  Now I print from the computer and run off copies on the copy machine.  If I am short a copy, I just run and make one in a few minutes. (If the line is not too long.)

I remember typing on a typewriter.  It was really cool if you had one that had built in corrector tape.  I lived with whiteout and erasable paper.  Now I write test, notes, etc. in a matter of minutes.  I can bring up past documents and cut and paste without glue!

I remember fumbling while threading movie projectors and showing film strips.  Slide carousels were really neat.  Now United Streaming allows me to download a film with great quality, thousands of titles and very easy. And then there were records.  My students often say “what’s that?”  Is it a frisbee?  I now decorate my room with them.

Yes, in ways technology has made teaching so much easier.  It also has made teaching more complex.  It has opened the world for many children who do not learn in traditional ways.  It has opened the world to communicate with children in other worlds thousands  of miles away.  Elementary students work with laptops; they weren’t even invented when I went to college.

As I work on an audacity or photostory project I often wonder what teaching will be like in 30 more years.  What new things await future students?  Whatever it is, I am sure teachers will rise up and prepare the children for the challenges they face.

Cathy Houchin
Watertown, WI

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