Covid-19 · Homeschooling · music · OPV · Random Acts of Roller · Substitute Teaching · Work Related

AV has come a long way

I don’t spend a lot of time on any of my blogs posting about my jobs. It’s not that I don’t find them interesting. Most of my life my jobs haven’t really said a lot about who I am. Working as a stocker in a grocery department doesn’t really define me. Sustitute teaching does and I just haven’t found a way to work it in to the blogs very much.

First of all I can’t really get into specifics like I did when I was blogging about my own home education experiences. I can’t take pictures of my students let alone post them nor would I ever think of doing so. In my 3rd year of subbing I am no where near an expert with advice to dole out. What I can do occasionally is make some observations and comparisons which is what I’ll attempt to this evening.

Even before Covid hit the scene I have been very impressed with the types of media that are available to the teacher. Back when I was college and doing my pre student teaching we were still using filmstrips in high school classes and computers were pretty much for word processing only and typing classes were still taught on typewriters.

In current times even in the live classroom the smartboard has replaced most if not all chalkboards and dry erase board. A smartboard plugs into the teachers laptop and a teacher could run videos, slide presentation, even quizzes disguised as games. In the school I’m in now a pretaped video of annoincements has replaced the traditional over the intercom announcements.

The teacher can also share their screen with students at home om platforms like zoom or provide the students with links to the material through the teachers home page. Homework is generally sent in electronically whether the student is live or at home.

Today some of my students went to a music class where the teacher was explaining the concept of theme and variation. After explaining it very well, he then showed this neat video which you can find on you tube simply by typing in theme and variation.

Later my students went to gym where much of their class activities were shown on the smart board. While traditional teaching still does take place this kind of vee-jay approach does enhance the learning experience and because of Co-vid the technology has become less a nicety and much more a necessity.

This technology is not just in the public schools. My daughters last year of being home schooled was 60% done through computer technology until covid increased that number to nearly 100%.

Technology in schools may be a million miles away from wheeling in the A-V cart but education does continue to roll along nicely.

A to Z Blogging · Baseball · Capitals · HOF · Homeschooling · Sherman Brothers · Writers Write, Readers Read, Rollers Roll

A to Z Challenge Reflections 2020

I hadn’t originally planned on participating in the A to Z challenge this year. I hadn’t really been blogging at all since midsummer and when the school years started I was working 60 to 70 hours a week at a movie theater and as a substitute teacher. And even though I had a week off school for Spring break our family had a number of activities planned for that week. Planning 26 entries for mu blog was probably the furthest thing from my mind.

Then in quick succession my spring break was lengthened to two weeks, the movie theater temporarily closed , and all the spring break activities we had planned were postponed or cancelled all due to pandemic concerns. Sometimes during those 2 weeks came a stay at home order and all of a sudden I had time on my hands.

During those weeks I did a lot of relaxing and even amid all the anxiety really enjoyed my family and my new found free time. I rediscovered reading blogs for pleasure and while I pondered whether I might be able to find work to replace my “nonessential” jobs, I decided not to look until March 30th, which would have been the Monday I was supposed to come back from Spring Break. It was at that point I decided to sign up for the A to Z challenge.

My theme for last years challenge was the movie music of the Sherman Brothers. It was a bit of a complex process as I would have a video of the song, the lyrics from the song and my reflections or remembrance from the movie. It was complex but each post had a very predictable pattern. I also had prepared many of the submissions in advance of April 1st. By choice or necessity that was all different this year.

I chose a topic Capitals and put my own Random twist on it. I chose New York’s capital Albany as my A entry and wrote about a visit to Baseball’s Hall of fame a few years back. The Hall of Fame is in Cooperstown, not Albany. While my son and I did stay in Albany for a few days on the trip the articles main focus was not Albany.

Most every entry was like that. Quito is the capital of Ecuador. The missionaries Jim and Elisabeth Elliot were married in Quito, I’ll write about them. It was much less about capitals and more about free association derived from Capitals. I tried as much as I could to tell about myself and so you might not know anymore about Pierre, South Dakota than you did before, but hopefully you know a little more about me.

Going back to my sudden inclusion into the ranks of the unemployed for a moment, I actually viewed it as a bit of a sabbatical. I had set a date of March 30th to start looking for work, I expected that this could take quite a bit of time. The truth now was that on the 30th, I heard about a job, applied for that job, was interviewed and hired for that job in about a 6 hour period.

I thought the job would be restocking a grocery store on the over night shift 2 or 3 times a week. Which would give me plenty of time for my family, volunteer activities and the challenge. It turned out the job was 5 to 6 times a week giving me less time than I thought I would have had. Also changing my sleep patterns really did a bit of a number on my whole creative process and also got in the way of deadlines. On three different times I had to catch up on my posts after missing the natural deadline of the calendar.

Generally one of my favorite parts of the a to z challenge is how it involves me in the blog-o-sphere. I love reading and interacting with other peoples blogs. This year I did far less of that than I hoped to. Now that I am no longer obligated to post every day, I hope to catch up on some of that reading and commenting.

I will start by spending some time to look at some reflection posts. If you are interested in checking these out, click here. I am already looking forward to next years challenge. I have an idea that will be very time intensive and will take months of preparation. I thought of it last year, but by December , I knew there would be no way to implement it this year. This is what is known in the entermation (a synonym I just created for infotainment) field as a tease.

I’ll end this piece with a bit of an announcement. 11 years ago I began my blogging journey with a blog called Home School Dad. I did over 700 posts there from 2009 to 2012 another 100 from 2013 to 2016 and its essentially laid dormant for the last 3+ years. I recently decided to bring this blog out of mothballs. I will still be posting here as well, but I imagine that HSD will again become my flagship. I spent a few hours this evening adjusting the format. If you check it out by clicking here, you will always see a link to my most recent Random Acts of Roller entry, which of course will be this entry. Thanks for everyone stopping by from the challenge. I hope achieving a new normal after the challenge and in this crazy covid situation is fun and fulfilling.