I have spent part of this evening upgrading my computer’s OS because it was time to change. The decision to move to a newer OS was not taken lightly as I was comfortable with what I had. Questions were numerous. What would happen to my files if I changed the system? Would I be able to find all of the programs I had before? As I sit waiting to complete the transfer of files from the old system to the new, I have come to realize that these are the same questions I asked myself as a teacher, and that I am sure many other teachers ask (and are afraid to answer) each year.
Certainly there are somethings that I cannot lose, like photos of my family, but there are many more which I probably should delete. Some o the programs are also not really needed anymore. When moved from the classroom to administration in June 2011, I was forced to address the files and resources I had accumulated over time. Having moved school twice before I was ready to ditch somethings, but I really had to face the fact that some if the things I had kept had almost no value beyond the sentimental. Teachers too often hold on to things because they just might need it again. I was (am?) just that teacher. Really, I should have applied the rules of one of those home reno shows — if I haven’t used it in a year then out it goes.
During the State if the Union (#SOTU) address this evening there was a brief exchange about the colour of ties being worn by the President, the Vice President, and the Speaker of the House. Being an English teacher, I commented to my wife on the symbolic effecting these powerful men wearing ties that were all the colour of spring; these are colours of renewal and rebirth. As schools across Ontario enter the second semester of what has been a different year, I hope more teachers take a moment to determine what needs to be kept and what needs to be pitched so that there classrooms and their practice can experience their own renewal.
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