Saturday, February 09, 2013

What Nervous People See

Are you nervous? Me, I'm nervous. I've been nervous all my life -- it's a way of life. Oh sure, I keep my nervousness in check by using all the techniques designed for nervous people. But there's only so much a gal can do.

My school district mandates that we teachers put our lesson plans online, where any parent or administrator can see them. The "coaches" review the plans and make helpful suggestions, also online where any parent or administrator can see.

When the day's lesson meets with approval, it gets a yellow star. When the day's lesson is not approved, it gets a button like Exhibit A:


Can you imagine being a nervous person, and opening your lesson plans online, and seeing this image? No? Lucky you, to be not-nervous!

As for me, I open my online lesson plans, that any administrator or parent can see, I get a glimpse of Exhibit A, and to me it looks like:





I know, I know. I'm over-reacting. My gentle teacher coaches didn't design the web site. I'm sure if they had, they would recall being teachers of sensitive students who would be so crushed to see something like this on their work. No doubt this online lesson plan site was designed by computer geeks who never got a red mark on anything they ever turned in to a teacher or a coach, forever and ever in their lives.

And just like any put-upon student who gets a paper doused in red ink, I have a worthy excuse. I repeated the same lesson three times in the plans ... because I was out with the influenza for three days the prior week and couldn't get to it. So online, it looks like I was teaching the same lesson two weeks running. Duly noted with an angry red dot, without checking my absenteeism of the prior week.

I would laugh this off, except parents can see my plans. And so can the people who will be armed with the draconian tenure-crushing evaluation tools.

There's something about the color red. Apparently I'm not the only person who has noticed. Maybe you like it, but as for me, I'm nervous. The web master created a red dot with an exclamation point. (Exhibit A). When I see it, I see Exhibit B. Not approved. The devil is pissed.

If I could get hold of those website creators, I would make them drink 25 cups of coffee while listening to blaring Residents music sweetly suggest that they revise their "not approval" button. It should look something like this:


Yes! Let's let Fintan, the gentle Salmon of Wisdom, kindly point out our minor errors, having first (being a Fish of Great Wisdom) ascertained, by conversing with us, that the errors were, indeed, errors.

Ahhhh. Just bringing Fintan in here makes me feel so much better! He reminds me that a wise person does not get riled up by red buttons. He steadies my nerves. Well, at least he tries.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Yes, Fintan is so much better than the Angry Red Zit. Fintain merely suggests that something is fishy about your lesson plan.

You know, parents are so busy these days -- do you really think they take the time to read lesson plans?

Anonymous said...

Does the programer have a public place where you can place a 'red zit' for them? No? You mean they don't practice what they preach? and do you get to see this same information on the jobs of all the parents? No?
Geez. You should be getting hazard pay for this. Like, millions of $


I can' imagine you getting anything but yellowstars

Anonymous said...

In a related question: If ed profs are supposed to be teaching us how to teach, why are their own presentations always so inept and boring? Rodger C

BellaDonna said...

My ex is a computer hardware engineer. He always said that he'd like to line up the software programmers in front of a firing squad and shoot them. Seeing this kind of thing, I can TOTALLY understand why...

Thalia said...

That's not mine, that picture of Fintan. I don't know whose it is, though.