By Kathy Ayette - Contributing Columnist



This year the principal uttered those two little words guaranteed to strike terror into the hearts of all staff members…” new technology.”

I have been given to understand that technology is supposed to make tasks easier and quicker. My experience has been that technology tends to make tasks that I used do in several minutes take up to an hour. This year we have the new St. Mary’s app. I spent the first week wrestling with the app, and it almost had me pinned several times. Now instead of just sending my parent newsletter via bulk email, I first have to create a PDF, send it to the cloud, then whip out the iPad, click on the appropriate icon, choose teacher blog, add a picture to the blog, and add the attachment.

The first time I tried it, I had our trusty tech wizard next to me. I sent my letter to the cloud, but when we tried to attach it to the blog, the cloud wouldn’t give it back. Our tech wizard had to contact his tech wizard. You know you’re in trouble when the tech guy has to go to a tech guy!

I must

admit there are things I like about the app. My favorite is the on-line forms. No more finding a pile of important forms that I forgot to send out… last week.

School began on Aug. 27. The evening before students and parents were invited to an Open House to give them the opportunity to meet the teachers and check out the classrooms.

Technology aside, the beginning of the school year went smoothly. We usually meet on the playground the first day of school for a short prayer service to start the year. This year the short prayer service was even shorter. Our prayers may have been ascending to Heaven, but rain was descending from there.

On Friday, Sept. 6, we participated in a mass evacuation drill to our secondary location. As part of the safety plan, we need to have two places for the student to go to if the school is unsafe.

Our primary site is the church building. However, if that building would not be a safe place, the students evacuate to the secondary site, Memorial Hall. We “evacuated” at the end of the day. I have to admit I was a little concerned about the acoustics in the hall’s lobby. It is a yodeler’s dream. Echoes abound. I have 13 potential yodelers. However, the students behaved very well and considering the mass of children in the hall, the noise level was low.

Fall pictures were taken Sept. 9. I had forgotten that it was picture day. I can hardly wait to see that photo. Oh well, there’s always retake day. I wouldn’t bother except the fall pictures are the ones in the yearbook and in the composite picture that hangs in the hall. On the other hand, I could provide hours of merriment for future students.

As you know Sept. 11 was Patriot Day. Staff and students gathered around the flagpole first thing in the morning for a prayer service to remember those who died that awful day and to pray that we learn tolerance and understanding to avoid such tragedies in the future. None of our students were alive at the time of the attacks. The teachers had recounted the events for the students earlier that week.

On Sept. 17, the student council sponsored Yellow Day in order to raise funds to fight childhood cancer. We recently lost one of our own to cancer. One of the children who was going to be in kindergarten lost her battle with cancer the Sunday before she was to start at St. Mary’s. In her honor, students and staff were asked to wear yellow and bring a donation to help put an end to childhood cancer.

Lock the doors and bar the windows! Talk Like a Pirate Day was Sept. 19 and I have it on good authority that blood thirsty pirates (OK juice thirsty pirates) once again invaded the hallowed halls of St. Mary’s. Every September, the first- and second-graders roam the halls following the clues to find the buried treasure. The date was noted on our September calendar, and the pirates were raring to go!

On Sept. 25, the third through eighth grade teachers will attend an in-service hosted by the Darke County ESC. The topic will be writing across the curriculum. One of our goals to improve our curriculum is to improve the students’ grammar and composition skills. One way to do this is to require proper grammar and punctuation on assignments in all classes, just not in language arts.

Until next month, enjoy the end of summer and beginning of fall.

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By Kathy Ayette

Contributing Columnist

Kathy Ayette is a teacher at St. Mary’s Catholic School. She can be reached at kathyayette@swohio.twcbc.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

Kathy Ayette is a teacher at St. Mary’s Catholic School. She can be reached at kathyayette@swohio.twcbc.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.