Things in the past 10 years have changed incredibly. Where college graduation used to require hours and hours in a classroom and commons, an online degree has now virtually surpassed that as the degree of choice. The changes continue. It is certain the next 10 years are going to be rough for teachers. Even if the economy comes back, it will take a long time for those dollars to “trickle down” into the state budgets for education. Already, we teachers are learning to do less with more. I of course am always looking for new ways to use less paper. My goal was once a “paperless classroom” but I have since learned that “less paper” is probably the only rational thing I can pursue. Kids need to practice with pencils and the dry erase get dry really fast. But what about the rest of the world and all the occupations therein? How much paper will the high-rise buildings save now that times are so tight. What positions will be deemed “unnecessary” and which ones will take on twice the work thereafter?
It is a daunting thought but I see a silver lining in all this. Perhaps we will develop human pathways to success we never would have thought of before. As I said, I am using my overhead and powerpoint lessons more than handouts and recycling anything I can at work. I have a childlike sense of wonder as to how the working world will become less “fat” in its waste of paper, ink, and a million other things that are useless. Our meetings are no longer catered by a ocal sandwich shop and I would assume that is the case for businesses across the grid. I’m curious to hear how your work is cutting costs. Have you learned some ways to save supplies? Let us know … I am sure this kind of stuff is happening and we should get ideas from each other to make the recession just that much more bearable. We should all be inspired by this opportunity to rise above and excel amid adversity.