This morning I found myself truly outrage, but the target of that anger kept shifting. First, the setting…
I dropped by the media center of one of our schools where we are holding summer school. There was a teacher there with two students, one watching a music video and one a boxing match, neither of which I would have condoned.
Outrage #1 – The Videos and the Teacher: While there was nothing wrong with the videos, per se, I doubt either of them would have been allowed in a normal school setting. Why wasn’t the teacher paying closer attention to what the kids were doing? Had the kids bypass our Internet filters some way to get to the videos, or were these just not blocked?
I lingered a bit just to see what else the kids would bring up. The teacher noticed my attention, and commented that the kids were watching videos because they had “already passed their coursework and just needed seat time.”
Outrage #2 – Wasting Kids’ Time: If the kids are going to be required to be at school, they need to be engaged in learning. While there are many video resources that fit this bill, I’m not so sure the one’s they were watching did. Again, the teacher didn’t help by stating that the kids were just occupying space for a specified time.
I’ve never had a good poker face. Something in my expression must have promted the teacher to elaborate further. She stated that they couldn’t use their regular classroom because the cleaning crews had taken the computers apart.
Outrage #3 – Learning at the Mercy of Maintenance Schedules: This happened to us last week, where a cleaning crew dismantled a computer lab to clean the floors right before a graduate course was supposed to take place in that lab.
I immediately started phoning my supervisor, the cleaning supervisor, and the school’s principal to find out what was going on and why these kids were in the media center watching music videos.
So which of these was a valid outrage? I found out that the summer school kids weren’t supposed to be meeting that week, so the cleaning crews had tried to get their work done while the labs weren’t in use. I guess I could let them off the hook for #3, even though it meant that I or my tech crew had to hook everything back up in order for Summer School to begin next week.
While I’m still not happy with the teacher about closely monitoring kids, I didn’t see too much wrong with the videos they were watching. One was on a video host I didn’t know about, and the other was on Google Videos, which apparently is not blocked. I guess I can’t really get angry for #1, although I am going to check out that one particular video host.
Outrage #2 seems to be the most egregious problem. If the kids have already passed their coursework, why keep them there? Seat time is pointless and does no good if they have already mastered the content. I think I would have been watching mindless videos, too, if I had been forced to come in when everyone else was off.