Friday, March 13, 2015

Blessing #71: The age of technology

When God was giving out tools for living, organization skills was not one I recieved.  I have, over and over and over again, tried to organize myself. 

Take my paperwork, for example.  I get mail, I make a pile on top of the filing box over months or years, then, when if falls over when I open the cabinet, I take all the papers out and spend 2-3 hours sorting it into piles on the floor.  Then I usually get distracted by watching a movie or taking a nap, eating popcorn, wondering what shoes I could wear with my new black skirt right this second...(you get the idea), leave the papers on the floor for a number of days or weeks and eventually, finally, (usually at 2 a.m.), when I can't stand the mess for one more minute, file the piles actually into the file box.

I could tell you more stories, but it is sufficient to say that the organization of my teaching materials is not much different than the file box.  I literally make piles on the floor by my desk that I have to step over in my monthly efforts to sort through the piles that accumulate on my desk and the counter in the back of my room. 

Last year my school district switched to Google and I started using Google Drive a little bit.  During my Masters degree last summer we used Google Drive all the time and I warmed up to it.  Now this school year our curriculum is given to us via Drive and Dropbox.  I toyed with an online lesson planning program called but I never seemed to be able to get more than a day or two planned at a time.

None of this made a difference to me, though, until I had my formal evaluation last Monday.  I knew going in that my weakness is planning.  Rather than dwell on that, however, the feedback I received was constructive and helpful!  She said something to me I've heard a thousand times but finally it went in:  If you plan now, you won't have to reinvent the wheel every time you teach it later.  Duh.  I don't know if it was the new recipes I tried this week, or the increased amount of sleep I've had lately or the newfound willingness I have to stop wasting so much of my time in all areas of my life, but I heard it this time. 

Suddenly this week I have been noticing things I'm doing that I've done before, that I could SAVE and then not ever have to remake.  I find myself saving things on Google Drive; creating tests and worksheets in Drive; organizing folders in Drive!  And the best part is that I can work on something on my laptop in Drive that is instantaneously updated when I go to my desktop at work!  No more taking things home!  No more "I have to cart this big bag full of materials around with me to get any work done".  No more "I can't find that, I know it's around here somewhere" (well, there still is some of that, but I'm making progress).

It struck me on the way home from work today that perhaps I became a teacher at the perfect time for me.  If I had started teaching straight out of college, there would be no Dropbox or Google Drive or scanning of documents.  There would be piles and binders and spirals and filing systems on the floor.

I end today in the peace and calm of the perfection of God's timing.

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