Monday, November 07, 2011

What's changed in 5 years

I haven't been in a public school for 5 years since I left my full time job there when Katy was born. Now I've volunteered in her classroom a few times and I noticed a couple of things that have changed. (Disclaimer - I worked in a different district and I'm basing this on 10 hours of observation in kindergarten only).

1) It seems that nowadays it's acceptable for teachers to have their cell phones in their pockets, and to pull it out and check it if something occurs (call or text). Not that they are texting all through class, but they have it readily available. I think this is a societal norm now across many divides. Five years ago, I worked in many many classrooms in many different buildings, and I can't think of any teacher that kept his or her cell phone in his or her pocket. They usually had them in their purses, in the desks, to be checked when there was a natural break. Now I've seen three different teachers reach into their pocket in the middle of class to check. (Note: I'm not judging, just noticing. If I were a teacher today, there's a good chance that I would want to keep my phone close by, especially with my own small children.)

2) Wow! They have fancy copiers now. With the touch of a screen, those originals are collated, alphabetized, stapled, stacked, distributed and practically placed into backpacks. Impressive.

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