Read all the way to the end. This is a short post.

Demo Day

Mr.  Guiles is a fantastic teacher at Lone Hill Middle School. While he and I are fairly matched on our interest in EdTech, we each have our own strongholds of knowledge.

So it’s simultaneously relaxing and intimidating to do a demo in his computer lab.

“Good morning, class! On the wall, you’ll see our agenda for the day.” I point toward the screen opposite the teacher computer, where I’ll be walking them through peer editing on Google Drive. There are three bullet points:

  • Log in

  • Share Documents & Edit

  • Google Form

In a class of 36, all but 5 had no trouble logging in and finding the correct link. Mr. Guiles (in the back of the room) hovered and helped three students who were stuck.

That left two.

“If you’ve already typed up your paper in a Word document, you can upload it by clicking and dragging,” I call as I walk by Karl, who is playing a racing game online. “Hey, um… what’s your name? … Close that, please. We’re … um… we’re working on your papers right now.”

He complies.

Next to the teacher computer, Frankie is looking at racy pictures of women in swimsuits.

Right. by. my. desk.

“Hey, come on, man!” I whine. “Seriously? You have to do that right now?”

“I don’t have internet at home,” Frankie replies, zooming in.

I look over at Guiles, who raises his eyebrows. “Come sit over here.” I point to a single desk with no computer. Frankie rolls his eyes and moves.

“What do we do once we’re logged in?” asks Jacqueline, a short 8th grader with glasses.

“Hang on,” I reply. “Let’s get everybody logged in first.” She sighs.

“Is everybody… um… is everybody logged in?” I pull on my collar and wonder, What’s with me today? I don’t feel confident at all, and I did this with adults last week. I’m sweating and nervous. Did I eat breakfast? Dammit, I skipped breakfast.

A suppressed giggle turns my attention toward the door. Karl is texting and giggling.

“Karl, come sit over here.” I point him toward Frankie’s now-empty seat next to my desk.

“No,” says Karl, without looking up.

I take a deep breath, about to put on my sour teacher face, when I hear from the door, “Hey! Are you my kid’s teacher?”

Standing in the door is a dad wearing a blue “Lone Hill Lions” T-shirt. He’s obviously never met Guiles, who has a huge beard and glasses, but I’m thankful for the break from Karl, so I engage him.

“What can I do for you?” I move past him into the hallway and he follows.

“You gave her a C and she’s an A student. I’m getting you fired right now, and I thought you should know about it.” He pokes me in the chest.

I break eye contact and take a step back. “Sir…” I begin, but I can’t find the words. 
I’m only a tech coach, this isn’t my clsasroom.
My main job is to help teachers use technology in the classroom, but today, it’s not going so well.

Teaching is much easier when I have my own classroom with my own kids. I miss my own classroom. 

The Dad pokes me in the chest again and I lean against the wall behind me, feeling 10 years old again. What’s wrong with me today?

My eyes snap open. I turn over in bed and see the clock. 4:51 AM.

WAKE UP! You've had a BAD DREAM! by Marta Moraschi

That was a terrible dream.

~Matt “Gotta stay sharp” Vaudrey