I am a notetaker. I was that student that wrote furiously as the teacher was talking, trying to write every last word that was said down on paper. I have to write things down to remember them. My desk is scattered with to-do lists of every kind – grocery shopping lists, work lists, cleaning lists, things to buy, names of people to email back, sticky notes reminding me to check my to-do lists, and everything in between. I have kept a planner since I was in elementary school, and have had every kind/brand/style of planner there is. Because I was going to be starting at a new school this year, I decided to splurge and get my self one of Erin Condren’s Lesson Plan books. Only people who read mommy and/or teacher blogs will know about these coveted organizational devices.
They’re colorful, personalized, customizable, and durable. Definitely worth the price, IMHO. I wanted to have one place I could go to for my calendar, lesson plans, notes, reminders, and checklists, and this planner has it all. This bad boy was going to get me through the school year and keep me organized, and therefore, sane.
And then, we had our first faculty meeting. I brought my planner, of course, ready to jot down dates and start my beginning-of-the-year to-do list. Looking around the room, I see that every other teacher has brought their planner, too. Except their planners look like this:
Oh, I have one of these beauties, too. Except, I didn’t bring it because, well, we weren’t going to be doing any word processing or google searching during our faculty meeting, right? You can imagine my embarrassment. I felt very primitive and…from the old-school. During the meeting the teachers accessed the agenda via email, typed notes on stickies, notepad, or Evernote, used iCal and viewed shared documents on google docs. (Oh, that’s right, we’re a 1:1 school. We are big on technology. Almost forgot about that part.)
Despite being the only one with a pen in her hand, I still took notes (albeit, they were sparse) and wrote in my cute calendar. But I had to seriously think about how I was going to adapt to this school’s way of doing things. When my students are setting alerts on their iCals, I’m at my desk writing it down, then typing it in my phone so that I can make sure I get a reminder when I need it. Something seems amiss.
I’m still trying to figure out how to merge the two together. I’m not ready to give up my paper planner or brightly colored pens just yet. But how can I stay on top of the technology that’s at my (and my students’) disposal and stay true to how I know I work best?
The struggle is real.