November 13, 2009

Time-Wasting Equipment

The last three days I was using a VCR from 1984 (or so it looked) that was hooked up to my LCD projector so students could watch Anne Frank Remembered. Of course, it was one of those new-fangled kinds of VCRs that had a DVD player with it (so, it obviously wasn't really from 1984) but it didn't have a blasted counter with it, so every period I'd have to spend 5 minutes with the kids doing the High Low Game (think The Price is Right) trying to find the right place.

Picturing 15 kids yelling "No, past that! We've seen that! No, wait! We haven't seen that!"

Also picture 3 particularly loud kids yelling the opposite because they couldn't be helpful if their lives depended on it.

Picture the rest of them chatting with their friends because they can.

Picture pandemonium.

Picture my envy of my colleague who scored the only DVD copy of the video at Barnes and Noble last Sunday after we were brainstorming ways we could both use the one old VHS video.

Picture me saying expletives in my head but aloud: "Okay, well, this is close enough. Let's start here."

Our school has gone so modern, that it's not even that easy to use a VHS tapes, which I know is old technology, but many of us still have those valid, expensive-to-replace resources. I scored the VHS player from the Spanish teacher. I'm thinking I should visit the local thrift store for my own...with a blasted counter!

Even before our new school, I have never used videos very much in my classroom. Just a few times a year, and I never use them at home. I don't have a player, and I think I have maybe two home videos. So, standing there at the at the player each period made me feel so nostalgic. But I know it was just another one of those foolish-looking teacher moments.

**I know some of you are wondering why I wasted class time and didn't just rewind at the end of one class and before the other.
  • I did do it for classes that preceded prep or lunch
  • The video is so long that I had to be careful to get it all in over 3 days. It was close. Half the classes saw all of it. The other half missed the last few minutes.
  • I did not dare skip hall duty after we receive a nasty gram from the principal this week about being in the hallways during passing period.

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