I know that I said these 5 and 6 years olds were far too young for technology, but each time I leave your classroom, I am nearly reduced to tears!
Setting the scene to this comment:-
The classroom teacher has been absent several times when I am timetabled to teach technology to prep/ones. The substitute teacher is senior, conservative and set in her ways (although she does her work well) and offered to come along to help. I jumped at this chance as it is always good to have an extra set of hands.
At the end of the first class with her, she informed me in no uncertain terms, that
- they should not be using technology at such a young age,
- rewards and feedback should not come in the form of sound and
- when they do see a computer for the first time, they should be taught to touch type etc.
I became very defensive as it was not my personal choice to teach these little ones and I have found it challenging and hard work. Plus, I have not had too many critics or ‘blockers’ for my work.
My heart sank when I noticed that she was on duty on another occasion when we had a videoconference linkup with another young class. However, she actually enjoyed participating in that and then when we had a recent skype linkup with Debney Meadows, a school near Melbourne which has predominantly African students, she was actively involved. The students introduced themselves one at a time, shared class toys and the Debney Meadows students showed the bean shoot they were growing.
It was then question time. One of my boys sat in the talking chair and quite candidly asked why the girls were wearing “those things on their head”. My heart sank, as I am always concerned that we will cause offense. However, one of the girls stood up explained why they did, and it was on with the next question.
As the videoconference finished, the substitute teacher took them back to their classroom. As she passed I heard her say:-
Anne, I know that I said they were too young for technology, but I always seem to leave your class, close to tears!
What more can I say!