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Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Wednesday, April 8, an update

First of all, thanks for all the words of encouragement as I embarked upon a whole new world of teaching.

Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks. But old dogs learn a little more slowly, and in different ways. I can honestly say this is the most intense time I've had, the most pressure I've been under (not from my principal or even my board, just pressure) since maybe my first year of teaching. But, it's coming. Yesterday I emailed all my parents and let them know that I would be up and running for learning at home today. Within the first hour, I was fielding a number of emails from parents saying they couldn't log on and passwords wouldn't work, and so on and so forth. They were all trying, bless them, but the frustrating thing was I really didn't have much I could do to help them. I'm not the tech. person. As it turns out, using the wrong browser was the problem for some. I was able to guide them in that direction a bit.

I had a very simple little writing "assignment" set up for them and for those students who, no doubt with the help of their parents, were able to log on and write me a little message, it was so heart warming. I could hear their voices in their typed words. I even smiled at their spelling mistakes, punctuation mistakes and the fact that some still won't type the word ' I ' with a capital!

So, I've watched countless how-to videos, listened to real time webinars, emailed questions to colleagues, just muddled around myself, took gobs of notes and just stapled the whole pile together so I wouldn't lose anything in the corner of my living room that I've now turned into the world's messiest "office".

Bottom line? I'm one lucky woman.  I cannot complain at all. I am not on the front lines. Nobody in my family is sick. I am not worried about losing my job. I can't say the same for all my students' parents. I don't know everybody's situation, but I'm quite sure there are some tense households out there. So, am I working hard? You bet, but at least I'm working.

I'm sending out best wishes to all of you. Please, please stay home and don't look for loopholes to go out for "some reason". We just have to tough this out.

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33 comments:

  1. Sounds like your are changing and learning the new world of teaching in new ways and that's amazing. Woohoo. Go you!

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  2. You're a good teacher in the most sincere form of the words. What a challenge. You should definitely get a big gold star on your chart!

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    1. I should add, all of my colleagues are in the same boat. It's not just me. I don't know of a single one who isn't trying their best and many are juggling trying to do this and having their own young children at home at the same time. But, we are safe, and at home, which is more than some can say!

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  3. I cannot even imagine all the work and the frustration for teacher, parents and students. Congrats on "muddling" through. I do sympathize as I've also had some issues with getting tech set up for working from home - although a lot has to do with working from an old 13" laptop.

    I hope that things get ironed out for you and your students and that it doesn't add too much to your stress levels.

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    1. For some, it is not an ideal situation. We are still in the planning stages about those who have no internet, no devices, and quite frankly, for some families, this is the least of their worries.

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  4. I know you will master this technology and be a whiz at it in no time!

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  5. I think we're all learning a lot during this pandemic! I've been "working from home" for four weeks now. I miss seeing my students in real life.

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    1. Hi, and welcome. I think you are new here. It's so different, especially for my grade level. There's a lot of explaining and working together and hands-on, and examples on a daily basis in my class, so this is a huge adjustment. I miss my students, too!

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  6. It sounds like you are on an interesting learning journey yourself.

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  7. I'm very much a 'sayings' person..
    Love the one at the bottom there..
    One of my favourites at this time..
    "Every day above ground is a good day".

    AND..Yes! Everyone take care..! Oh! And
    stay happy..! :o).

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    1. Ha, I've used that expression, too. And it's true. If you have your health right now, the other things can wait. (although I do understand that those without income are in a panic, waiting for assistance).

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  8. Yeah for you Jenn & well done for getting things sorted. Online teaching is a new one on both sides for many & during this time creating some very difficult emotional times. Computer time for some will not be possible, maybe with Mom & Dad working at home, rural areas don't have the speed, blah blah. But it's better than doing nothing. I pray for a return to classroom learning soon (probably not until September).

    I have only gone out to a public place for grocery shopping once in 3 weeks. I do my meal plans for 3 weeks out & shop accordingly. ... Mary-Lou =^[..]^=

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    1. Our school is going to attempt that next step: getting computers to students who have access to the internet, but not device at home. These are school computers that are never taken out of the building (for obvious reasons). Hopefully this will help a number of families in our school.

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  9. How wonderful that you are able to hold your classes online. There are some kids that don't have that yet. Stay safe and have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

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    1. Trust me when I say it won't be the same as regular classes, but at the very least, the ones who do this will feel connected, and will feel like there is something normal in their lives.

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  10. Awesome! Sounds like you're doing great. It's a new world!

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  11. Well done, you! And yes, you are a lucky woman, safe and healthy and smart, too. I so admire what you are doing and I know your "kids" and their families are very grateful. Thank you for keeping on!

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    1. Thanks Jeanie. It's not like I had a choice, I would have had to try to do some form of "teaching", but it's the learning of something totally new that made it challenging. I really mostly care about their safety and mental health and that of their families.

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  12. I am glad it is working out for you. This may eventually bring in a new aspect to your teaching that you didn't have before.

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    1. Ha ha, this new aspect would have been interesting and usable, but I'm on the verge of retirement, so I'm o.k. with going back to the old way of doing things for whenever we end up back in the class room. :)

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  13. Nothing beats being there in person for your students but this is the next best thing. My daughter (kdgn teacher) is in the same boat as well as having her own three kids at home. She is finding her days even busier than if she were there in person. Hope you are taking some time for yourself, Jenn. Stay well!

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    1. I have a bit of time in the evenings where I can relax, but I think once I have a better handle on things and I'm not fielding as many emails from parents with technical issues, things will calm down a bit. Thanks, Chris. Good luck to your daughter as well!

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  14. Good on you for jumping into this with an open mind and heart.

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  15. I bet you are a great teacher, online or in the classroom. We are staying home, except for doing a little grocery shopping or picking up prescription. We both wore a mask and gloves when we were out Wednesday morning. Seems like there are many in our town who are not taking this virus serious and staying home. Worries me. Take care.

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  16. The teachers at my school have now all been geared up for virtual learning in the classroom after the holidays and they have been on the group chat already with tech questions. Challenging times indeed.

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