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Thursday, March 15, 2007

DA Clock Watchers …

Subbing assignments so far this month have been pretty sparse. Counting yesterdays 6th grade class, I can count them all on two fingers. Yesterday’s class was excellent. No problem kids, all hard workers and I had a lot of fun with them.

The only incident of note, and not with just this particular class, is that telling time is still a baffling concept to some of the DA (Digital Age) generation.

I can’t count how many times I’ve had the following exchange:

Kid: It’s almost (lunch/recess/library/computer lab...) time!

Me: No it’s not.

Kid: Yes it is!

Me: What time does your cell phone say?

Kid: Ohhh…

Every classroom I visit has the traditional analog clock with big, little and sweep hands to let me know how I’m tracking on the lesson plan. Now, while it’s true that sometimes the clock isn’t set to the correct time or flat out isn’t working at all, I’ve yet to see a precision digital timepiece replacement in the classroom.

This inability to tell time isn’t relegated to any particular age group. I’ve had similar dialog with every grade from Kinder to 6th and in every instance I was right. Well, almost every time.

Now, where did I leave my buggy whip?…


The MAN Fan Club said...

Our computerized math program still uses language like "half past and quarter til" yet our curriculum doesn't so they get confused. They have a hard time with the analog 11:57 not realizing that it isn't 12 yet so it isn't 12:57.

Anonymous said...

I feel old too. All we had when I was in grade school were computers capable of running BASIC (don't know if you remember that archaic language). We also had pens and paper and no laptops, cell phones, iPods, etc. Simpler and better? Probably.

KauaiMark said...


When I was in school, there were NO computers or electronic calculators. Phones were all black and weighed 5lbs ea.

I the programming course I learned in college was called "Machine language" (One step below Assembly language).


lilyofthefield said...

"If it's like that for the "real" teacher, I can't imagine what it's like for a substitute (I think you call them supply teachers over there)
I hope they pay well..."

You posted that on another blog. Just for the purpose of information, I am at the top of mainscale i.e. no other responsibility, and that is the highest you get paid by a supply agency. After tax and NI I come out with £101 a day, which is handsome for a day at a school that has left work and contains nice kids. It is not much comfort for the sort of hellhole that usually has a high level of staff absence and turnover but I supposed it balances out.

However, in its headlong haste to dumb down, demoralise teachers and save money, we now have what are known as cover supervisors (and other titles). They have, or need, no qualifications other than a thick enough skin to avoid walking out at lunchtime. Some are paid for the holidays and the short day but most are not. The annual salary is less than half that of a qualified supply teacher.

The deal was that cover supervisors would only be used for the first three days of illness cover and unplanned absence. The reality is of course that schools only now get supply in of they've run out of cover supervisors.

Nic said...

When I teach telling time in Spanish, I invariably have to teach telling time on an analog clock in English first to some students.

In high school.