During yesterday’s School Improvment Plan meeting, a teacher was instructing us how to use a QR code she’d made for the children to scan into their devices before going to Today’s Meet to chat about what they’d learned.

“I should have saved my chalk holder and my chamois eraser,” I commented to my neighbor. Not that I could use them in today’s teaching world, but I could look at them fondly. I could hold them in my hand and remember the day when teaching rested on me, rather than machines, and creativity could abound. Even without codes and chat rooms.

In the afternoon I realized my National Board Teaching Certificate was about to expire. Flying into a panic, because I didn’t realize it would be obsolete June 1, I entered in all the Professional Development hours I’d accrued over the years on the Illinois State Board of Education website. It took several hours to type in the title of the course, the purpose code, the description, the number of hours it met. Until I’d reached a total of 60 hours.

“Thank you,” the system informed me. “Your certificate is now renewed for five years.”

Five years? I thought. In five years, I’ll be ought of here. And with that sentiment, with the rejoicing that sang through my heart, came a chord of sadness. Because it’s one thing to be current.

But, it’s totally another to be obsolete.

12 thoughts on “Obsolete”

  1. Four years and a bit ago I resigned from my teaching position. (Too young to retire but a bit too old to entirely start over, but that's another story!) Technology in our education system I don't think is quite as advanced as yours sounds! However, I remember when SmartBoards were introduced (not sure if you have them or something like them – basically electronic multimedia blackboards)…I also remember not minding that I was in a classroom with a regular, 'old-fashioned' chalk board. I still love multi-coloured chalk! I think the teacher is still important! Your role as a guide and mentor will always be important…even in retirement. From the sound of your blog posts you're a teacher at heart.


  2. I don't have a clue what a QR code is, so I probably don't have anything to use to scan it. I'm happy with a 19th century occupation, real books and a flip phone that stays on my desk at home, where I check it three times a day. I figure I have twenty years left on this earth, give or take, and I refuse to see that life eaten up by techno-gadgets everyone says I must have to be happy.

    I don't mean that to sound grumpy or cantankerous. It's only that I'm increasingly of a mind to paraphrase Mr. Thoreau:

    “I went [off the grid] because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”


  3. for the children to scan into their devices

    What?! Don't you teach 5th grade? They have devices?!

    I love Shoreacres post. If we were on Facebook instead of a blog, I'd click “like.” But, somehow I doubt she's on FB. There are moments in the evening when I wish Facebook and Instagram would disappear with a “poof.” As long as others are there, I hate to leave them. I don't want to miss something important. Unfortunately, these are the places where everyone seems to communicate. Letters? Phone calls? Thank you notes (do not get me started!)? Invitations? Announcements? They're all gone. All that remains is a quick snippet on FB. I love being connected with my cousins and nieces and nephews, but I miss a lot about the way it used to be.

    Enough. I will not whine or complain.

    But to your post… where will you be in five years? In a cabin in the woods, curled up with your lovely stack of books? I will come calling and we can have tea and scones and go for leisurely walks down to the lake. We will leave our cell phones behind and take photos with real cameras. Maybe even with film. 😉



  4. Bellezza,

    Recently I read a post from Jeanie of The Marmelade Gypsy and i find it so relevant on the topic of retirement. Have you read it? I'm sure you'll be motivated. Retiring doesn't mean obsolete, but a removal of obstacles of time constraints and responsibilities and duties. One can then be free to roam, and soar. I'm sure opportunities do lie ahead in your future. Do click on this link to Jeanie's post which she entitled “The Retirement Game: Sixth Month Check-in”.


  5. I realized when they posted my job at my retirement that I couldn't apply for it even if I wanted to. Now you have to know this program and that one — things I have no concept of or desire to learn. I was the odd one out who wasn't bringing a smart phone to meetings, doing business for all sorts of things in one long meeting (I confess, my pay as you go flip phone isn't smart and it stays home unless I'm on the road, but there were times in those meetings that were long and dull that I wished I could check blogs!). But, you are up to date and good for you! And most definitely not obsolete! (Arti sent me over; I have been here before I and I know we share many of the same blogger sites; looking forward to glancing back at your earlier posts! I'm sure I've been here before — but some time ago.)


  6. It boggles the mind how technology has taken over our kids' education. A couple of years back I was so astonished during the parents' observation day when I saw that my 4-year-old was learning his alphabet with an iPad! We didn't even have an iPad at home! I was so astonished that I had a super long discussion with my husband about it that night, not that I was against progress because I grew up playing video games in the old Apple computers and old Nintendo consoles and I understood, but there are times when I just feel like I want to crawl back to the past. I am not against technology but I am just not very futuristic. I tend to cling to old things, as if letting go meant not being ever able to look back.


  7. It's interesting how many parents have thanked me for teaching their child to write in cursive. Beautiful writing, even, seems to be a mark of the past, and none of us can write as well as our American forefathers.

    This post seems to have resonated in its technology theme with my dear readers, but when I wrote it I wanted to express more than that. I wanted to express how as an individual I feel that my time has come and gone. My significance in the teaching world is surely being replaced. I don't think I conveyed that very well, but I'm dealing with brand new emotions of feeling personally obsolete.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s