I may just have entered the 21st Century.
Yesterday I upgraded my cell phone. I've only had a cell for 2 years now, and for renewing my contract (at Wal*Mart) I got a no-extra-cost camera phone with Bluetooth headset included. I spent a couple hours last night reading about and playing with my new toy, including sticking a memory card in it and filling up the memory card with mp3's.
Today was our first day back at work, and students show up next Monday. Our district has gone to a new student data management program, and all of us were trained on the teacher component today. Wow! It's like stepping out of the 1960s, complete with ScanTron sheets, into the modern age. Attendance, rather than bubbling in circles on a paper that gets collected from my door by a student every period, now is done online. Classroom grades, which used to be done manually or in standalone computer programs, are integrated into the program--my class rosters are already in there! Report card grades will automatically be drawn from this program, instead of my having to bubble them in and submit them every few weeks.
Additionally, I could create my seating charts in there from the class rosters that already exist! And on the seating chart is an icon I can click that will bring up not only both parents and all their contact information, but also an identifier telling me which parent(s) the student lives with. In the past, if I've needed any such information, I had to walk over to the counseling office and copy the information off the student's emergency card.
Clearly, this system will greatly reduce my administrative burden--which is exactly what computers are best at.
I'll also have a student teacher for the first two periods of the day, all semester long. She will work with both another teacher and me for two periods each; this will be very convenient for all of us, since we all three have the same prep period during which to conduct evaluation discussions, planning, etc. I view this opportunity as yet another way for me to teach.
So while I tried hard to change schools after 6 years, at least I have some positive things to consider as I start this new year.