Just Another Day In Computer Lab

Today, my guest blogger is Kristi Richard of South Bend, IN (Go Notre Dame!) She’s a web designer, owns her own freelance business called Studio 545, and

TECH TEACHER
Where’s the blue one go?

volunteers one day a week to teach computer basics to grades six , seven and eight at Our Lady of Hungary Catholic School. In her words, “Our Lady of Hungary … received a nice donation of computers and internet service to get a computer lab up and running. I was asked to teach basic computer skills to the kids, and have enjoyed working with them for about four months now. I only work one day at week with the kids, but I have developed quite an appreciation for what teachers go through nine months out of the year!”

Kristi and I met online chatting about tech teacher experiences and she had me in stitches telling me about her escapades. I asked her to write a post so I can share it with you. Enjoy!

Sometimes the kids in my 6th – 8th Grade computer lab look at me as a computer genius, but I am thinking to myself “Whew, glad that worked, now remember what you did, Kristi”!

My second week of teaching this lab, my priority was trying to remember all the kid’s names. But shortly after the kids came in to the lab, all of a sudden four computers including mine went down. We are on a network, so I am thinking, “Now what do I do??” I kept myself under control and did what the tech guys always ask you to do. 1) are the cables plugged into the back of the computers (check!), 2) are the computers turned on (check!) . . . 3) are they plugged in correctly? So there I was, Mrs. Richard, on my hands and knees, ass in the air as I was looking under the lab desks to check the monstrous mess of cords, plugs and cables that hook up twenty computers along this section! I could hear the kids giggling at me while I continued to struggle in tight quarters trying to figure out which cord/cable/plug hooked to the computers that went out. Then came the hot flash . . . jeeze, not now!

After about seven minutes of searching, I saw it . . . the extension cord to a power strip was wrapped around a girls ankle and had come unplugged. She didn’t have a clue! She must have sat down and wrapped her ankle around the cord and just yanked the cord out of the power strip. NO CLUE as she sat there working away on her computer with this cord wrapped around her ankle! I unwrapped the cord, and debated for a second if this was the right cord, or if I would set off a huge power surge and kill a row of computers if i plugged it into the empty outlet. What did I have to lose? I was just a volunteer and I was dying under here! They applauded when I plugged in the cord and the computers went back on – it worked! “Mrs. Richard, you rock!!” (I thought to myself as i backed out from under the desks, face sweaty and red).

At 52, I am getting a bit old to be crawling around under desks. But somehow . . . I love it!

If you have a funny story you’d like to share with readers, email me at askatechteacher@gmail.com or leave a comment here. Chances are, lots of other tech teachers and parents will relate to your experience.


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Author: Jacqui
Welcome to my virtual classroom. I've been a tech teacher for 15 years, but modern technology offers more to get my ideas across to students than at any time in my career. Drop in to my class wikis, classroom blog, our internet start pages. I'll answer your questions about how to teach tech, what to teach when, where the best virtual sites are. Need more--let's chat about issues of importance in tech ed. Want to see what I'm doing today? Click the gravatar and select the grade.