I have scanned all my old teaching resources! Years of accumulated units, admin proformas, music sheets, planning documents, theory worksheet photocopies, exam handouts, appraisal documents, timetable lists etc……. (as I slowly descend into madness).
What made me start the project was the thought of what I would need to grab if I had to leave the house in a hurry. Where would I even begin? Photos, CD’s and teaching resources all came up close to the top of the list. They are all now scanned/copied and stored digitally.
If you have been teaching for under 10 years, then you don’t understand. You have all your resources in tidy files on your laptop already. You will never understand the drama of swapping schools and needing a moving company to shift all your precious boxes of resources and entire CD collection from one place to the next.
I was so attached to my boxes of paper to aid my individual and stunning impartment of musical knowledge, that I had mine shipped over from New Zealand. I had ‘a good clean out’ (about 3 pieces of duplicated paper) before I left and decided that I could never be parted with the rest. They have been stacked up miles high for years in the garage. I know people who stopped teaching over 20 years ago, and still have a garage full of these priceless morsels of wisdom.
I have to say I am pretty impressed with myself. It is all complete now. The only things I still have are a few original copies of songs, books and the odd bound unit. The paper copies are safe forever in my Dropbox. I am also pleased that this means I can access them from anywhere. Never will I be without my vitally important circle of 5th worksheet that I created by cutting and pasting (with actual scissors and glue) in 1999! Never will I be without the sheet of program music examples given to me by my first teaching associate who happened to also be my high school music teacher – bless.
For those who are resisting digital musical storage – don’t. I kept about 20 very special CDs that I couldn’t part with and all are all now accessible on my phone, computer or iPad. This is amazingly handy for teachers, I’m only sad I am so late to catch up with this bit of helpful technology. Every piece of music I have ever owned is in my pocket. If I happen to get side-tracked in class (as if) and end up talking about my time as a Ska musician in America, I can simply play those tracks to my class! It has changed my teaching world.
If you need more encouragement, then think of it as ‘constructive procrastination’. I did all the scanning (a process that is dull but quite rewarding as the paper goes out), when I didn’t want to do proper work. Worked a treat!
It really doesn’t take as long as you think and is well worth the effort.