Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Old Red Gradebook Ain't What She Used To Be

Let's talk progress. I am one of those back-to-basics kind of gals. Newfangled cell phones that can take pictures, access internet, show you the picture of who's calling, and whip up a cherry pie? Don't need one. Give me two tin cans and some string.

Computer games, DS Lites, PlayStations, Wiis? Whatsamatter with Pong?

PowerPoint? I believe you can do the same thing with an overhead projector.

Dishwasher? At the Mansion, that is MOI.

Calculator? A slide rule and an abacus do not need batteries.

GPS, Garmin? Hows about we stop at that filling station and ask us some directions?

MiniMart Convenience Stores? Whatever happened to those filling stations where a gal could get directions?

So imagine my fit of snit when I learned about our new, updated computer grading program. Please don't construe this rant as Mrs. Hillbilly Mom trying to stick it to The Man. I am not faulting anybody at my place of employment. All schools are dipping into the newfangled waters of student records. I am just pondering the new tricks that we old dogs are being trained in. Oh, and whatever happened to teaching people not to end sentences with prepositions?

In olden times, we kept track of attendance, tardies, grades, rosters, and book numbers in our gradebooks. Perhaps you've seen one. They are most often red, with nice little boxes for entering all of your recordkeeping needs. But no. The lowly red gradebook is no more. Now we are using pretty two-inch three-ring binders. Mine is robin's egg blue, and though Mabel refers to it as Olympic blue, I know that 'Olympic' is a trademarky kind of word, and don't want the international Olympic Committee coming down on me.

So we have these three-ring binders, and we are to print copies of our rosters, and a weekly grade report every week, which I suppose is the meaning of the term 'weekly'. So that will be 36 pages for each of my six classes, and since I'm also a Mathie, I am proud to tell you that with those rosters, that is a grand total of 222 pages (ha, ha, and I don't even have that many fingers to count it up) that will be in my three-ring binder come the last day of school. Which is approaching faster than you know, my friends. So instead of that outdated red gradebook with perhaps 50 thin pages if you consider that it has room for eight courses, and about six pages per course, we have a plethora of pages. That we need to hole-punch and ring-bind. Never mind that I have not yet learned how to print rosters and grade pages from this new program. I shall be learning it by the end of the week, by cracky. Learning it as if my job depended on it, because, well, does. I know how to print the seating charts, but we are not keeping them. The old red gradebook had a section for those, also.

Instead of collecting all the gradebooks and storing them in an old paper box (by that I mean a box that those 500-sheet packages of paper come in, not a box made of paper, because, well that just would not be very sturdy) under some pipes in the unofficial record room that also contains a MICROFICHE READER, we will be binding all the pages in a giant ring-binder. And how come nobody uses microfiche anymore, anyway?

I am keeping a red gradebook for my own personal use. By that, I mean that I am using it at school as a backup. It is my crutch. There was still a full supply of red gradebooks to go around. I don't care if they are redundant. I want one. I might even compose a song to it, like Adam Sandler's 'Red Hooded Sweatshirt'. Nawww. I'm not a songwriter. But this is my ode. Actually, it's just a poorly-written blog post, but you can humor me. Don't cost nothin'.

I am glad I have my little red crutch. Because some people found that after issuing textbooks, the numbers did not stay in the computer thingy. Or they showed up in everybody's gradebook. Or some such malfunction. Oh, and one teacher is keeping all of the daily announcement printouts so he can look back and see who was absent that day, because it doesn't show on the computer gradebook page. So he will have around 172 pages of announcements, which are really not an attendance tool, because some students may be absent 1st hour and show up late, and others will get sick and go home, so that darned old announcement is not as smart as an elderly red gradebook, who holds all that info without complaining.

The times, they are a-changin'.
Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is trying to adapt.


Queen Of Cheese said...

Wow! Someone at my house has the same complaint. He just can't log onto the system in one of his classrooms so he gave up and keeps it all in his gradebook and does it at the end of the day. This will be all fun and games until he loses that gradebook! It will happen and when it does the sound of panic in his voice will be music to my ears. Not that I enjoy his misery or anything....

Hillbilly Mom said...

I've never lost a gradebook. A plan book, yes. I lose the stuff I'm supposed to do, not the stuff I've already done.

Redneck Diva said...

My kids' school has a new phone system this year and even though I'm sure it exists for the greater good, I just hope I don't have to use it often. I called down there last week and instead of listening to the whole shebang I just hit zero to talk to the secretary. I bet a lot of people do that. Why not just let the secretary answer it?

Hillbilly Mom said...

Technology is not our friend.

Unless maybe it's the friend you just tolerate, not because you like him, but because he will drive you around, and help you move, and stick up for you in an argument.