So, I created a video lesson on a new submission process for my class using Google Docs and Google Forms (credit totally goes to Alison- I stole the idea from her blog). I was happy enough with the lesson: they're always a little awkward to create (at least for me) but it's worth it to provide my students with a tool they can go back to when they're struggling to remember directions from class. I was excited last night to publish the lesson and have it ready to go for today because my attention is often spread in so many directions at school, it's difficult to find the time to sit down and create one.
In second period, I told the kids the lesson is posted to help them, but we'll obviously go through the process for the first time together in class, with me talking them through it while I put photos up over Airplay. Two seconds in, we have a problem: my version of Google Docs is updated and format is completely different from their (not-yet-updated) versions. Our school doesn't allow students the permission to update/download their own apps, so I have no control when the newer version will be pushed out to them. Only a few kids had the new update. Thus, my video lesson was rendered completely useless to all but ten of my 130+ students.
This wasn't a total disaster, just one of those moments where the plans fly out the window. Taking them all through two different versions and checking to make sure that every kid who entered my class today did it correctly ensured that what was supposed to take ten minutes out of the beginning of class ended up taking pretty much the entire class. As a younger teacher, I was bothered when this happened; when actual events deviated wildly from my original plans. Now it happens so frequently I laugh at how carefully my Ed. classes used to have us write out each lesson plan; I never use anything more than a basic outline, knowing it'll change drastically period-to-period and year-to-year anyway.
I'm leaving the lesson posted. Eventually they'll all have the update, and it will be of some use to them as a refresher. As it was, it served as a good reminder as to one of the most frustrating (and also enjoyable) parts of my job: you can't prepare for everything. Sometimes the most learning (for both students and teachers) happens when you deviate from the plan.
I teach 7th and 8th grade English in rural Iowa and hope to reflect, connect, and share with other English teachers. Iowa Council of Teachers of English Executive Board member. Iowa Writing Project superfan. UNI MA:TESS graduate.