Amidst my many doubts about retiring, here’s a sign that it’s time:
· Google Drive
· Parent Square
· Google Meet
· Chrome Music
· Apple TV
To be a teacher in the old days meant familiarity with your discipline and its associated tools. In my case, that meant at least basic skills in piano, guitar, xylophones, recorder and assorted percussion. I knew how to drop a needle on the record or press play on the cassette tape or VHS video, occasionally set up the slide tray and slide projector and once in a blue moon, thread a film on the 8mm or 16mm projector. Had to know the basics of the ditto machine and later, copy machine.
That all has changed with the “ease” of digital technologies. I was doing okay learning how to access Youtube and show things on Apple TV, send a group e-mail to the parents, check my Kerio e-mails through school. But suddenly, things have changed geometrically in the last two years and these programs above are just some of the things I’m expected to understand, manipulate and master. Each with its own access, password, storage, steps to mastery, way to pass on to others. To which I say:
Really? I mean, really? And now, hunkered down with scores of online learning options, it’s growing exponentially yet again. Not to mention learning the maze of the cell phone, keeping up on Facebook and e-mail and the blog and so on. It’s simply exhausting. I just want to pick up the guitar and sing some songs with people.
I empathize with the late Mary Oliver, who wrote:
The television has two instruments that control it.
I get confused.
The washer asks me, do you want regular or delicate?
Honestly, I just want clean.
Everything is like that.
I won’t even mention cell phones.
I can turn on the light of the lamp beside my chair
Where a book is waiting, but that’s about it.
Oh yes, and I can strike a match and make fire.