Before I ever went all-out on pencil integration, I went through this paperphilia stage where I believed that the medium was the answer. If I could get my hands on more pencils and better paper, I would have better pedagogy.
So, I'm standing in front of my SmartChart and flipping through the slides. If you've never used a Smart Chart, it's essentially an Edison projector that shines on huge chart paper, where I can write notes. So, I'm scribbling notes and flipping through slides. The students are nodding their heads and I'm offering a passionate lecture on Jacksonian Democracy and whether his human rights violations toward Native Americans nullifies his hero status. (Some teachers would allow the "other side" argument, but human rights violations probably don't need another side)
Mr. Brown stands up in the back for awhile and observes. It's his prep period and he's hiding from Gertrude the Language and Academic Achievement Cognitive Development Learning Specialist. When I pass out the paper and pencils, students begin scribbling their thoughts.
"What did you think?"
"I saw a lot of heads nod."
"Yeah, they seemed really into it."
"They were falling asleep, Tom."
"I knew it. I practically wrote a novel on some of the chart paper. I should have gone with the three by three rule and the slides could have had more . . . "
"No, that wasn't the problem. Your problem wasn't your paper but your pedagogy. You stood and lectured. You failed to interact. I've seen you lead discussions. Slides could have enhanced the discussion, but you allowed a projector and some ginormous paper replace you as the teacher."