Updated: Oct 20, 2020
“Being in an elementary classroom is the type of fast-paced petri dish full of chaos that I thrive inside. The days are challenging, noisy, and overwhelmingly fun. On March 17th of 2020, the noise stopped.” (…from the writing of a teacher, sent to the Covid Project, anonymously, May of 2020, at the end of the 2019-20 school year. This educator also sent a picture how her space looked as she taught remotely, from home. The entirety of her letter follows):
“Every teacher and every student will tell you a different story about remote learning during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is my reflection only. One teacher’s thoughts and feelings might be similar to anothers in some aspects and vastly unique in many others.
Only time will tell how this temporary situation will change the course of education in our future. I’m holding my breath in the hopes that it will improve the way we utilize technology to level the playing field for all students.
Sitting at a desk in a make-shift home office is not the career I chose. For 41 days, however, this is the physical space I used to teach my class of 23 third graders.
Being in an elementary classroom is the type of fast-paced petri dish full of chaos that I thrive inside. The days are challenging, noisy, and overwhelmingly fun. On March 17th of 2020, the noise stopped.
I planned lessons by gathering resources, creating videos, scheduling on-line class time through Zoom and sending out emails. I was thankful to still be able to earn a living. Creating the lesson and activities continued to be fun, and it would be silly of me to say that I missed the noise (the mute button in Zoom became a refreshingly empowering teaching tool), but I realized that so much of my teaching was in response to the learners in the room. When that element was removed, it was a bit like flying blind.
The new noise that arrived a couple weeks later was the ‘lying in bed and popping your eyes open at the buzzing and pinging noises coming from your phone’ kind of noise. The somewhat normal blurry line between home and school of the teaching profession had been erased as phone calls, emails, and messages started pouring in at all times of the day and night.
The fact that this entire experience was new to everyone involved often meant that the rules of the game were constantly changing. Thank goodness most of us had a therapy dog at home to get us through.”