Cleaning out the Gunk

I had noticed a little dust coming from the computers in my lab. As I thought about it, I realized they probably hadn’t been cleaned in a while. Ok, probably about 6 years when these computers were a) top of the line and b) purchased through a grant. Just in case you aren’t in the ed biz…rarely do technology items purchased as a result of a grant get upgraded through the regular upgrade process in a school district. So, we are working from computers that need to be cleaned. What did that look like?

dusty computer

Computer with 6 years of dust


dirty computer close-up

Dirty computer close-up

So, I took an air compressor and the computer outside the door and air-cleaned the computer. After about 10 minutes, it looked like this:

clean computer

Air compressor plus about 10 minutes of work and things look good!


clean closeup

closeup of computer after cleaning

I thought about myself as a teacher. How often do I fill up with the dirt and the dust of the problems of the past and then let it affect my performance as a teacher. I am excited about this year. My excitement reminds me of how long it took to the bitterness from a  situation where I felt I was treated unfairly. In fact the good years I have gotten at the school where I am now teaching have re-energized me: like an air compressor cleans out the dust in a computer. How often do I fill up with dirt and dust of thinking that I teach a subject instead of remembering that I teach kids who are going through a difficult time in life. Do I realize that I need to remember to connect with them instead of making them always comply with me. Need I go on or can you find a way to make this apply to you?

I think about my kids. Some have dirt and dust from the lack of family support while others have it from overbearing family demands. Some have dirt and dust from bad teaching – I pray that I’m not a cause of next year’s dirt and dust for my kids! My job is to teach kids. I use technology to do it. Some of it is outdated. Some of it is as current as can be. (We do have some new chrome books to use.)  I’m excited about this year because I have the chance to cut through past problems kids may have dealt with and reach them and encourage them to a brighter future. I love teaching and my current school has renewed that love. I just hope I can infect my students with a love of learning….


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