A word of caution to my teaching friends and peers who will soon return to the education wars.
“Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
I’ve been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man’s soul to waste”
“Sympathy for the Devil”-The Rolling Stones
The technology advances from writing on wet clay tablets to the Promethium Boards of today has been a great boom for teachers…except when it wasn’t. There is always a learning curve for a teacher that continues to slope upward especially as it relates to students and how well they use or misuse technology. For every website blocking program utilized, there is a technology savvy student ready, willing and able to hack it.
With the invention and use of iPhones, technology abuse is at an all-time high with little chance of thwarting it. Teachers, on the other hand, have had trouble dealing with technology even when it was something as old school as the use of video.
It is true that the “best-laid plans of mice and men sometimes go asunder”. During the late Seventies or early Eighties, teachers and coaches, along with the rest of the world, made the transition from eight and sixteen-millimeter film to video equipment. First Beta and then VHS, the video was a great teaching tool and we not only used in the classroom but also used it to film practices and games. What made it a great tool was that it was easy to use, instantaneous and would provide immediate feedback. If it was easy to use, it was also easy to abuse. At a nearby high school, teaching and tool would take on a new meaning.
A scrimmage had been videotaped and afterward the video camera, with scrimmage tape still installed, was placed in the locker room. One of the team clowns, we all have had them, decided that it would be humorous to turn on the video camera and point it at the entrance to the shower room, not realizing that it was taping on the end of the scrimmage video. Bozo further complicated his crime by telling people that it was taping. Boys being boys, many decided to display their man parts by shaking and twirling, some even attempting to make one man part twirl in one direction and others twirl in another. All of this could have been considered stupid and innocent fun but sometimes reality rears its ugly head, pun intended.
The coaching staff watched and graded the video, showed it to the team and did the normal film breakdown associated with high school football. Each time the film was viewed, as soon as the last play was shown the video would be stopped and rewound, never showing the innocent but stupid fun. That was until the video camera and tape found its way into Ms. Crump’s senior public speaking class.
The video equipment had been purchased from the library budget and was to be shared with any teacher who wanted to use it when not being utilized by the athletic department. Ms. Crump, a very innovative teacher, decided it would be a good idea to video her classes’ first attempts at speech making and then critique it during the class. It would have been a better idea to have used a fresh videotape rather than recording over the previously mentioned scrimmage, but she was using what she had been sent.
I can only imagine the class’s reaction to “Little Johnny” holding his man part and pointing it right at the camera while yelling “S&*k my d@#$!” after the final speech ran out. I don’t know if they had to resuscitate Ms. Crump or not, but I do know that the powers tried unsuccessfully to fire the head football coach. I don’t know if “Little Johnny” got any takers or not.
In a related story, there was a much respected English teacher, who for years had shown the same version of Macbeth to her English classes. She would go to the local video store, rent it for a day to show to her classes. There is a pornographic version of the same film and no I have not seen it. I do know Lady Macbeth spends most of the film “au natural”.
Someone at the local video rental accidentally, I hope, placed the porn version in the original PG version’s sleeve. We all learned a valuable lesson that day; preview all videos to be shown during class no matter how many times you have shown it previous. Popcorn anyone?
Excerpt from “Winning was Never the Only Thing….” which may be purchased at https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM
Image from https://drawception.com/game/Xwb3Ectqd9/nerdy-demon/