When I was a young lad of about seven or eight years old, I used to love Christmas. It was by far my favorite holiday, and November and December were my favorite months. I used to start circling toys I wanted in the Sears catalog as soon as it arrived. I generally slept very poorly during the holiday season because I was so excited. I couldn’t wait for Christmas to arrive. I was so excited to open my gifts and play with all of my new toys.
Luckily, this excitement for new things hasn’t left me. Over the summer, we added many new toys to the sixth grade classroom. We got iPads for the boys, new whiteboard tables, and awesome rocky chairs. I was so excited when the new chairs arrived. I did all of my lesson planning while rocking back and forth. They are amazing. For me though, the best part is seeing how excited and happy the students are. The first time they all sat in the new chairs, I thought for sure that it was a national holiday. They were screaming and rocking. It really made all the waiting, planning, and fighting to get the new items totally worth it.
Today, we handed each student an iPad and provided them with several tutorials on their use and the many applications we had loaded on them. Sure, there were some bumps in the road and it was slow going at first until they figured out how the iPad worked. But, when they had a chance to play around with some of the programs we put on them, they were so ecstatic. You would have thought we gave them the keys to Disney World. They were talking to each other, playing the games, learning how to use the iPad, and having fun. What more could a teacher want? Well, besides more pay and respect from the American society, but we do need to have long-term goals.
As the boys explored their new learning tool, I was filled with a true sense of excitement for the days to come. With classes officially beginning tomorrow, I can’t wait for the students to dig into the other applications and really take their iPads on a test drive. We will be able to do so much more in the classroom this year without the distraction of the laptops. The students will be able to show their learning in new and innovative ways using this special tech device. It almost feels like Christmas Time again. I can’t wait for the boys to unwrap all of the learning we have in store for them this year.