Teacher Lee Briggs on technology in today's classroom. Brought to you by Weekly Reader.

When It Rains…

The sign came that it would be an interesting week when I locked my keys in my car Monday morning within sight of my principal. It was a foolish thing really, since I had taken all of my teacher’s guides home along with my iPad and all were now safely locked up. I decided to handle it with grace. After all, what good would being frustrated get me? So I called the local police and Chief Bernie Bock came by within half an hour and got me back into my car. One of the benefits of a small town, I guess. The day went very well after that, but I should have taken it as an omen for the week to come.

Tuesday went well. I’d managed to remember my keys and get a start on planning the coming after school program, when in the middle of the before-school conversation my projector exploded. Well, not the projector, but the bulb inside it, a pop like firecracker and smoke, even. But again, I managed to handle this speed bump with grace. I rolled the mobile board in the library into my classroom, after many thanks to the librarians, and I was up and running. Again.

Grace. The ability to respond in a positive manner to negative things, usually outside of your control. The little technical things have been adding up lately, but I am aware this is a trend that will soon pass.

A bad week; in many ways it has made me more versatile, because like anyone in Wisconsin can tell you, there is no better teacher than adversity. You only need to find yourself in a ditch once in sub-zero white-out conditions to remember to pack a tow-rope and a candle in your trunk for the rest of your life. I will now treat every day as a day when my projector could explode. The lesson I choose to take from this is that I should never have all my eggs in one basket. I can’t build my whole classroom around my blog, my iPad or my SMARTboard, I need to have backups for everything, because in the end, the only thing anyone can count on is the unpredictable nature of your classroom and your own versatility.

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