Full Title – Pondering the “Periodic Table of Teacher Elements” that make up a teacher’s life
The spark for this series of posts was ignited by reading the book “The Periodic Table” by Primo Levi. That book is unique, fascinating and powerful. These posts do not even attempt to hold a candle to the book, which I highly recommend reading.
Nonetheless, the idea of exploring elements that make up a teacher’s life took hold…
*Ink – as in ink stains on my hands & clothes from the carbon paper I carried around in university when studying to be a teacher. The choice was between using carbon paper and letting copies of my notes circulate or me not having my notebook when I needed it.
*Ink – as in more ink stains from the mimeograph machine we used in school during my first years to make copies of worksheets. I can’t recall if those stains came out…
* Ink – as in the ink blots that appear on the Rorschach Cards that the young man I married 30 years ago (this week!) was studying back then.
* Ink – as in the ink pads for reusable stamps (proclaiming “WELL DONE” “GOOD JOB” “HAVE A NICE DAY”) used when teaching elementary school, in a successful attempt to eliminate the endless “out-of-pocket” purchase of stickers.
* Ink – as in the ribbons of my parents’ old Olivetti typewriter which I used when needed because the school simply didn’t own an electric typewriter with an English keyboard.
* Ink – as in the change to whiteboard markers. Farewell to sneezing caused by chalkdust!
* Ink – as in the joy of opening a new package of colored pens. The color chosen to grade papers changes as the year progresses – when the ink runs out I move on to the next color…
* Ink – as in the number of pens I carry around in my purse (usually three). A teacher in the staff room invariably needs to borrow a pen for a moment, a student shows up for a test without a pen while another pen quietly resigns from its duties …
* Ink – as in the notes-to-self on real paper, which I keep on my classroom desk. Despite using a lot of technology (educational, to-do lists, Evernote, reminders and more), when I need to get something down quickly, especially at school , it’s got to be ink-on-paper.
What role has ink played in your teaching career?