Old School

Something interesting happened this week. I ‘broke up’ with the computer.

In class, I usually share examples of concepts from my trusty MacBook Pro. We listen to music and identify instruments using the projector, we read books and identify the essential messages within, we view chord tablatures, read lyrics and copy movements…. all while looking at the screen.

Before SARS-CoV-2, I rarely used my computer when teaching. I was hard-core, “hands-on” in my instruction. After COVID-19 hit our world, I learned to regard the computer as an appropriate distancing strategy. It felt alienating but necessary, a somewhat cold version of being warm-hearted. (Maybe it’s not that dramatic, but you get the idea…) Using the computer became the NEW WAY. It has been ‘THE’ way for the last 2 years. I almost didn’t realize it.

This week, I rejected it.

My class entered the room, and when I started turning on our new music, one of the kids said, “Do you want me to pull down the screen?” I responded: “No, …I would like to have our whole class period without using the computer or projector at all”. “Oh!, Old School”, another child said with a grin. It made me smile. I wasn’t thinking that leaving technology out of our learning time was “old school”. I immediately thought, …”What a clever opinion this 4th grader had in that very instant”. …..”Oh!, Old School”. ….Funny!

I’m sure that I’ll be back to using technology in class. Probably sooner than I want to. But for this week, I’m teaching “old school” and loving it.


  1. Like you, I use my computer and a brand new smart board every single day. Last week, there was a problem with the smart board and nothing was working. I ended up going old school and teaching the whole day with chart paper and markers. And it was lovely. I want to do it again soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If it is refreshing to me, I feel it must be to at least some of the students. A reminder to always “shake it up”, eh?


  3. I love this! I want “old school” back too. This week I have been leaving my screen up during part of the day and that is “old school” for me. My screen is always down now and I can’t use as much as of the whiteboard as I used to. Technology does not always mean better. Enjoy your “old school” week.


  4. Love the line: It was alienating, but necessary cold version of being warm hearted. Oh yes, there are times my heart aches at how we’ve had to change our teaching in some ways to promote safety. ….But old school! Yes, definitely, it’s good to bring back from time to time!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s so interesting to think about the habits I’ve fallen into because of covid that I don’t really need to continue any longer. Thanks for the nudge to think about them! One line that stood out to me was: “It felt alienating but necessary, a somewhat cold version of being warm-hearted.” This feels like it captures so much of what teaching through covid has been like.

    Liked by 1 person

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