Despite having had the seasonal flu shot and the H1N1 flu shot and doing my best to stay away from sick students, I contracted a bad cold a couple of weeks ago. Unlike most colds that go away after three or four days, this cold apparently loved living in my body and stayed around to torment me for 10 very long and miserable days.
I took a day off from school when I was really ill and then returned to work the next day. In the span of a couple of hours, I felt just as bad as I had the previous day. But, like so many teachers who keep reporting to school despite their illnesses, I kept on working. Finally, I awoke one morning and determined that there was no way I could drive myself to work and called for a substitute.
Normally it isn’t difficult to create a lesson plan that students can complete without me, but I had three students scheduled for speeches in each class. Since delivering speeches makes some students really nervous, I knew it might cause problems if they had to reschedule their speeches after they had already worried and prepared for the speeches. Unfortunately, however, there was nothing I could do. I had to cancel the speeches.
As I climbed back into bed, my thoughts drifted to that tiny little video camera asleep in my top desk drawer. Perfect! I sent an email to my department chair and asked him to obtain the camera and have a student videotape the speeches.
Now, instead of grading speeches as students deliver them, this weekend I am staring into my computer screen and viewing and grading speeches. I actually graded one speech today as I went to the park and stared into the very tiny camera screen as I ate lunch.
I love technology!