Once upon a time there was a fifth grade teacher who was starting at a brand new school. This teacher was so excited about everything. Then one day, she found out some very sad news. This new school did not have enough money to install projectors in every classroom. This teacher will not have a projector in her classroom.
Although this teacher is very talented and creative, not having a projector will be a difficult adjustment. You see, this teacher loves computers and technology. Technology is a big part of her life. She imagines that many of her students also live a similar lifestyle. They probably use computers all the time. They are entertained by gaming systems that are computers. They are probably masters at the self-checkout. Whether or not they have their own cell phones, they maximize the use of any they can get a hold of, easily navigating and utilizing all the features of any cell phone that lands in their hands. They've known technology their entire lives.
Yet when the students walk into their classroom on August 24, their jaws will drop. It will be like they entered a foreign country. Not because the building will be new or their classmates will be from all over the county, it will be because they will enter an old-fashioned classroom environment where nothing is digital.
Fortunately, this story doesn't have a totally sad ending. This teacher aired her frustrations and made a cry for help via her facebook status. She was contacted by a friend who had an extra television lying around and was willing to donate it to the classroom. Now this teacher will at least be able to hook her computer up to the tv so that the classroom will not be void of visual stimulus and reinforcement. Maybe the principal will see how much a projector means to this teacher and the good she will be able to do with one and opt to mount one of the limited number in her classroom.
Or maybe the teacher can work up a persuasive argument that will convince the principal that it would actually be cheaper and educationally valuable to install a projector in this teacher's classroom. [If this teacher cannot display an image for the whole class to see, she will be forced to print copies for each student. A classroom cannot be without context. Three printed copies per student per day (assuming $0.07 per copy) adds up to over $900 per school year. One can get a mighty fine projector for that kind of money. This cost doesn't account for the time it will take the teacher to make the copies nor does it reflect the adverse impact on the environment. Also, the teacher will be forced to spend her extremely valuable time creating posters and picking up pictures at Walgreens (which also brings in more cost for posterboard, markers, glue, picture development, etc.) and less time on developing more meaningful lessons and intervening with students who are not yet proficient in particular concepts.]
This story must temporarily come to end. This teacher hopes, however, that this will not be the permanent end. She wishes with all her heart that she will be able to report a fairy tale ending before too long. Cross your fingers for her.