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It’s not the Tool it’s the Teacher

October 15, 2011

I’m always impressed when I go to workshops that we teachers usually all agree that a tool is…well a tool. It helps you. It is convenient in some way, and in the case of an educator it enhances and advances learning in some way. There are so many tools out there, and the neat thing is that they do different things. Yes, they may look the same but they are a bit different in their features, applicationas and use. This virtual toolbox reminds me of my late grandpa Jim’s garage. I remember him giving me a novice’s tour at 16 years old of the mechanic’s world- the holy grail- The Garage. He told me all about how this watchamacallit was good for XYZ and how that thingamajigi was good for that. At the end I was pretty much dumbfounded and overloaded with information that I could barely pick out a hammer let alone a camshaft seal toolkit. I had the same realisation this week. As tech integrator I am so excited (often too much) and perhaps over enthusiastic about all the tools that I see so much use for. However, I need to remember that not everyone needs or even wants to know about these tools. So when I sat back and reflected on this last week, judging from the feedback from some staff, I thought of my grandpa enthusiastically showing me around his garage. Was I ‘him’ showing teachers around that virtual toolbox? Over this last week Ive learned balance is key, talking to teachers to find out what they want is key and knowing when to suggest a tool – or not. Maybe listening is enough.

So I guess the moral of the story/post is that life is one big tool box. You dont have to know all the tools but it’s reassuring to know they are there in case you need them.

Jim Presta 1928-2009

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