Day 7 Ignoring the Inner Critic

Any teacher reading this blog knows what I mean when I say I am constantly feeling inadequate in what I'm doing in my classroom. We tend to read blogs of great teachers doing great things and think, "man, and what have my kids done this week?".

I have especially felt this way over the past week and a half. Although we have the laptops now, we have had to take up several HOURS completing quarterly multiple choice assessments in math and reading, as well as a pencil and paper "on-demand" writing assessment (which, by the way, we will have to assess and file on our own time).

Anyway, I kept thinking, wow, my kids and I haven't accomplished very much since we've gotten the laptops. But then, as I watched them working today I began to make a list of the foundational skills they have learned. Although these skills by themselves don't produce a wonderful, awe-inspiring project, they are necessary as the foundation of what we will be doing over the next 3 quarters.

Here's my list. My kids can now:
1. Open and create a document in Microsoft Word
2. Open and create a presentation in Microsoft PowerPoint
3. Open and create a product using Microsoft Publisher
4. Login to their school email
5. Send an email to someone in our district contact list
6. Attach a document to an email
7. Save to the common folder on our server
8. Save to their Home folder on our server
9. Open something I've saved to the common folder
10. Effectively use our class wiki to find today's jobs, homework assignments, and today's blog post
11. Comment on a blog post
12. Comment on someone else's comment on the blog post
13. Login to Google Docs
14. Submit a form using Google Docs
15. Use the Cove Studies links on our class wiki to spend free time wisely
16. Print documents to our classroom printer (which is not set as the default printer at this time)
17. Toggle between two or more open tabs to complete an assignment
18. Attain their certificate in Internet safety and print it for our wall of fame

That's 18 different skills they didn't know seven days ago, so I guess that's pretty good! I realized how impressive they're really working when 10 teachers came to my room today for an RSS workshop. Yikes! We teachers don't learn half as fast as our kids! Love ya, teachers!
kids sign
Photo Credit: KingdomCatHearts' photostream via Flickr
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