500 Words At A Time: As A Teacher, Part 6

Today was one of those days that I imagine all professional teachers dread. Maybe dread is the wrong word, dislike? Whatever the negative word, today was not a day I was looking forward to in a positive fashion. I went to class with a dark cloud over my head, tinged with optimism. After all, they could only go up. Thankfully, they did go up.

Here are a couple of things that I dislike, but I understand:

  1. I understand that students rarely put their time to use in a proactive fashion; i.e. Procrastination is a sexy beast.
  2. Students do not put forth their best work all of the time. I.e. “This rough draft looks good.”

I understand these things, I do them myself. Doesn’t mean I like seeing them in action.

Here is something else that I dislike, but I do not understand:

  • Why is every WordPress theme different from each other? I get the whistles and bells, but there are themes that do not have what I consider “basic” functions on them. This means as someone teaching students how to use WordPress, I have to tailor my lessons to what I know and then come home to play around with each theme. Very annoying from a teaching standpoint.

All of these things meant that part of my day was giving them the “dad is disappointed” speech with a heavy touch of “I am here to help you, but if you don’t do the work, then I cannot help you and I will not do the work for you, because I cannot do the work for you.” Do you have any questions?

And most of them did. Unfortunately for me, none of them are using themes I am familiar with. Thankfully, I was able to work through all of the issues or they figured it out on their own. Watching students have an “ah ha!” Moment is always fun for me. Biggest issue of the day, creating pages, drop down menus, and making their front page look better.

The other issue of the day, was inserting resume links. For whatever reason, Wordpress has users upload PDF’s to the media library and then insert them as a link. The link receives a title based on what the user happened to call the file upon uploading, which for the unknowing can lead to some really bad link names.

Color and header image was the other issue. Yes, I see that there are two words, but regular WordPress users understand that the two are linked together in the form of choosing a theme color and inserting a header image at the same time. Since this as choice issue, I stayed out only offering my opinion or suggestions when the color or header image looked odd on the projector. By the end of the day all of them were on the right path.

We will see. Because in addition, to the “dad (me) is disappointed in your lack of progress” talk. Came the “I will be watching your progress very closely all weekend” and “by the way, all that time I told you that you didn’t have…well it has been truncated even more.” Which is why I said from day 1, get your shit in gear and be prepared to move like your ass is on fire.

Because the heat is on.


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