The first year that I came to my current high school, I began a new technology area in my county. I was given the opportunity to pave the way for other teachers and the chance to see if the program would be successful. Successful is has been, as far as the number of students signing up for the class. Students naturally gravitate to computers, cameras and microphones. I spent the first two years of teaching using limited equipment provided by the county, supplemented with my own personal equipment. I willingly brought in my personal equipment because I wanted to accurately teach according to standards set by the Georgia Professional Standards Committee. I needed my equipment to do this.
The second year of teaching, I was made aware of the possibility of receiving grant money for equipment. My husband and I filled out the paper work and submitted it. To our excitement, my high school received the grant money which has remade the studio into a wonderful state of the art studio for students. I realize that our school's program is extremely blessed and advanced in their opportunity to learn.
With receiving expensive equipment, I set up a check-in and check-out policy. This will ensure the safety of our equipment. On one occasion last week during homecoming week, I found a flaw in the system that made me reconsider my job. My advanced students took an expensive microphone outside to videotape the homecoming candidates. It was a tremendous interview, in which the filmers were all very proud. This was until the next morning, when the lab manager could not find the microphone. We looked all day and could not figure out what had happened. Couldn't we trust the advanced students ? Noone remembered who brought it back inside the equipment room. Noone told the teacher that they were taking it outside of the classroom. Noone checked it in or out, because it was an in class project. We waited for the weekend to pass, hoping that it would surface, and praying that it was not hijacked. The check out system had failed, because we did not have an "in class" policy set up for the responsible students who were lab managers. The check out procedure was mostly for off campus shooting and for "underclassmen". Advanced students were flawless..... weren't they ?
A few days later, I was summoned to an administrators office. The meeting is the crux of why I question my continued career pathway. He pointed his finger at me, leaned over his desk and stated that " your check out policy is not working" and "that if I did not get it corrected, I would be looking for a new job next year". Needless to say, he is a little worried about the new lab that has come our way. This is the first incident of lost equipment under my watch. Although I did not approve it going outside, I am ultimately responsible. Now I am checking in and out all equipment personally. Thankfully, a bus driver who was smoking near the shoot, found the missing bag. My question is.... should I live under this bondage ? Is this a program destined for failure ? Will I be spending all my time worrying about missing equipment, instead of being able to teach ? In defense of myself, the microphone went straight from the library where it was being tagged to the interview outside. It surpassed me. I can work out as many kinks as possible, but what if there are more that I haven't considered ? I felt very depressed after this incident. I checked into teaching in other counties where I can make more money for the stress that is involved. However, I enjoy this county, but now I am not so sure about this school. I feel confident that I am very hard working and I try to be responsible. I don't feel appreciated for what I have brought and can bring to the county. I am glad that I can bring this before other NTI teachers for their advise and keep my thoughts away from my fellow teachers at school.