Which smartphone are you?

Children are very passionate about the things that benefit them. 'Back in the day', children would have happily spent hours debating who had the best dad, or why their new Staedtler pen was better than someone else's Papermate.

Which is the best pen?

There can be no doubt that children like to be associated with the best. Listen to them speak about their new smart phones. If they're not in possession of the next best phone, they're probably talking about what they'd like to have.

Now there is clearly nothing new with children desiring the best possessions. I'm not wanting to explore why that is the case, nor do I wish to discuss the impact that this materialism will have on their future lives. However they are clearly inspired by the prospect of owning such superb hardware. Children will even be-friend people who own the latest phone as though they could own it vicariously.

The owning of these mini-supercomputers isn't trouble free. I've seen pupils bring new phones into school, only to see them broken on the first day. But the amazing thing is, they don't shy away from showing off what they have. But they are enough people that want to bask in the glowing glory of the latest electric screen. They're amazingly quick at working out how to get the best from the phone and quickly look to add to the pre-installed software. There's nothing better than adding an App to a wonderful bit of kit.

And that long preamble is the reason for this post.

I've put this question to some pupils:

"Think of any teacher. Which type of smart phone would best describe them?" During conversation I then discovered that pupils readily used the same phone-terminology to describe us. I heard one pupil say that teacher X would be improved by having an App added for something or other. Some might think that it's a bit off to be talking about teachers as pieces of hardware that require updating to give the best performance but, to be honest, the pupils described me as an iPhone 5 or a Samsung Galaxy S III so I don't mind!

I was asked "How do you get re-charged?" I deftly side-stepped the "where do I plug the charger?" question and replied "That's what the holidays are for!" Apparently my quick-think app had been downloaded successfully.

And then it hit me. Teachers are indeed like a smart phone. Some of us have more functions than others. Some of us have big memories. My ringtone isn't too good but my polished display makes up for it. I research different aspects of teaching and learning, meaning I'm getting a good update. There are certain events that cause me to resort to my default factory settings. But thankfully I've never crashed or frozen and, most pleasing of all, I'm on an unlimited contract for giving feedback, support, explanations and praise.

As long as my apps are appropriate for my classes I'll be fine.

 But if I need to adjust what I do, and I don't have the skills to do it, I'll do what needs to be done.

I'll just AddAppTT (C) Craig Parkinson 2013

www.AddAppTT.co.uk is a soon-to-be-launched new Teacher Training website.