Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Frozen in Time

So yesterday, my community college writing classroom was visited by the vice president.

I was nervous, I told my husband, because the lesson was a tricky one (the integration of implications), because it was the vice president coming, because even though I trusted my students completely, anything, anything could happen.

And it did.

The clock stopped.

Now, you might think there could be a worse distraction. And, there definitely could be.

I had practiced, I had prepped my incredible students. I had ironed, even got my hair cut.

But I had no idea how dependent I was on that cheeky little clock. Starting class, giving the 5-minute warm-up activity, stopping for a break, resuming, ending...there was no measure for any of it.

Technology -- basic technology -- had failed me.

Sure, the lesson went on. There were popcorn kernels and writing prompts. Reflection. Analysis. Evaluation. The students were their incredible selves: engaged, delightful, critical thinkers in full attendance.

Halfway through the hour(?), I stopped sweating it. If we started at 9:47 and ended at 9:47, if anything went super south, I convinced myself, I could pretend the whole class never happened.

6 comments:

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Isn't it amazing how many "little" things we've become dependent upon?

The Vice President? WOW!

Theresa Milstein said...

We use the clock so much for pacing. I could see how that would be a distraction! Glad you pulled through.

Angela Felsted said...

Love that last line. Awesome!

Jennie Englund said...

Theresa, you are so right: PACING -- that's what I was trying to say!

Anonymous said...

of the united states???

Medeia Sharif said...

I'm glad it still went well.

I'm always watching the clock in the classroom. I need to pace myself.