Thursday, January 7, 2010


Tractor, originally uploaded by mhall209.

I drive past this tractor a couple times a week at least on my way to or from work. It sits there at the edge of a truck farm and never moves. Ever. The crops come and go, but the tractor never moves. It has the job, it seems, of pumping water from a well to irrigate the row crops between it and the river behind it. (A diverting chanel, actually.) It is old, rusty, and apparently reliable. If it stops working, bad things happen to the crops around it.

It reminds me of my roll in the classroom. I need to stand in the back of the room, and not move. My classroom is a computer lab. I got to design it, pick the furniture and everything. It was inspired by my visit to the Googleplex in Mountain View a few years ago. When I designed it, it was going to be awesome! Unfortunately, the people who installed the furniture didnt talk to the person who designed the room, and the furniture was installed like it would be in a classroom. A traditional classroom. In rows. Not very Google-like. And it can't be fixed without great expense.

And so each day after I finish any direct instruction, I get to stand in the back of the room, like this tractor. Overlooking my students. If I move, kids go off task. You know which ones. Not all of them. Not even most of them. Just a couple. Those few that really, really need someone to remind them of what they should be doing. Every day. All day. So I stand there, like this tractor. Old and rusty, but reliable. If I move, bad things happen.

1 comment:

  1. Great connection to the picture. Wouldn't it be great if classrooms could be more Googlelike?