So recently I had an idea to make the process of marking assignments and reporting a simpler and more streamlined process. After a painstaking search to find something on the web that already exists I came to the conclusion that if I wanted it done right I would have to do it myself.
Initially I thought I'd be able to achieve the desired result just using Excel but after writing 20 lines of VBA code for 430 toggle buttons poor old Excel ran out of memory and gave up. A dead end.
So, realising that possibly the only way to get it done would be to create a program myself I decide to learn how to code.
That was the easy part. From there it got much more complicated.
I had no idea that there were different languages and so of course I had less of an idea about which one to use. Not only did I not know which languages were best for web based programming, Windows, MacOS etc. I didn't even know which of those platforms would suit my needs best.
Thankfully being a chemistry teacher I have ready access to some bright young people who know more about computers than I do and one of them pointed me towards Codecademy and EdX.
So for the last couple of days I've been getting to know the basics of Python and C. The only problem now is that something that I initially thought I could achieve with a couple of days work using Excel is probably going to take me at least 12 weeks of training before I even get started on the actual program.
I'm looking at it as a positive. I'll pick up skills that will be valuable not just in my teaching career but in general 21st century life. It's just bloody hard work.
Luke Scholtes is a Science teacher with eleven years experience, currently working at the American International School of Bucharest.