Image Courtesy: Netflix Media Center
For years, I’d receive my bi-monthly mailing from my friends at Netflix trying to convince me that I should sign up for a free trial offer. And for years, each envelope was wasted postage on Netflix’s end. They all ended up in the trash.
A few weeks ago, I was speaking with a friend about movies when he mentioned that Netflix “instant streaming” can now be streamed through my Wii console. I went home and signed up for my trial.
Several weeks in, I thought I was on to the new sliced bread. I used Netflix at school to stream “Scooby Doo: Where’s My Mummy” during a study hall day when no one had homework. (Fear not, it fit my Egypt standards.) After staying up way past my bedtime watching my first episode of “24” one night, I was able to stream the whole first season one weekend on the Wii. I spent a manly Saturday afternoon with “No Country for Old Men.” And I spent a date night with “Yes Man” and Elizabeth.
I was convinced that my ten bucks a month investment in Netflix had revolutionized the way I watched movies. Past tense.
Tonight, Elizabeth suggested we watch, “Office Space,” as she had never seen it and had heard several of our friends quote it recently. After I picked my jaw off the floor, I immediately reached for the Wiimote to start the streaming. I searched, and searched, and searched. (Note: the Netflix Wii interface is a disaster when searching for a specific movie!) No Wii streaming. No browser streaming. Netflix fail.
I jumped in the truck and headed to Family Video to spend my $1.07 to get the flick for five nights. I got to thinkin’.
And here comes the parallel. We have to remember, as educators, that there’s no cure-all. There’s no one method, one book, one lesson, one approach, one theory, one path to student success. We’re dealing with dynamic, independent, breathing creatures. God put a pretty complex mind in each one of them that despite the newest research and approaches, we still know very little about.
As I transition into my new position as a 5th grade language arts and social studies teacher, I’m getting hit from several directions (both from self-seeking and mandated programs from my district) about the way to teach. There isn’t one. Netflix wasn’t the answer. Teaching takes learning…and I don’t mean on the students’ part. If we want to touch dynamic students, we must be dynamic teachers. “Lifelong learner” shouldn’t be something we put on resumes and cover letters. It should be a checkbox on administrators’ interview form.