Day 1: What To Do…
The day before we went to Distance Learning, I was definitely the one freaking out about what we’re going to do. The other members of the Physics Learning Team kept trying to talk me off the ledge to tell me that it’s just for one class period. I’m thinking that it was more of a DoomsDay situation and it’ll be for more than one class period. And here we are. Luckily, this is the time of the year we go to NSTA so we had quite a few things prepped and ready to go for Distance Learning.
I went to a nearby Starbucks because I couldn’t trust myself to do work at home. Instead of actively working, I people-watched and documented the drama that unfolded before me. I fielded a couple questions, but it was mostly okay. The assignment was to complete a couple readings and then complete a questions similar to one on the test.
At the end of the day, I walked on the treadmill while grading the submitted assignments that day. Walking away some of that anxiety helped a lot.
Day 2: Grades are Due
This time, I took the working hours a bit more seriously because 3rd Quarter grades were due. Because of the rotation, I was still okay with lesson plans. I am slightly more panicked about the Making, Hacking, and Tinkering class since what we do is build in class. The student suggested we complete some CodeHS courses, but I’m not too keen on doing this since it’s not a programming class. I will think about that more. I finished my grades! Woohoo!
My very good friend and awesome colleague Mrs. F came up with Distance Learning Policies for her own class. I took what she wrote and adapted it as my own: Distance Learning Policies. I tried to create one version that would work for all three classes that I teach mostly because I didn’t want to write three different versions. It seemed to work. I asked the students to tell me what they’ll find challenging and another way to organize themselves to stay on top of their assignments. Most of the students are identifying that writing down what’s due and physically crossing it out would be their method of organizing. Others wrote very valid concerns for distance learning that I will be following up on.
I utilize the Remind App frequently to remind students of things such as test dates or when there’s something big due. I reminded them not to work on anything for Physics on Friday since it was a scheduled school holiday.
Day 3: Getting Used To Things…then not…
I’m finally 100% on board with this whole WFH situation. I got up at 5:30am, did some chores, made lunch, got a load of laundry started. Then I sat down and tried to iron out more lesson plans. Today, I’m feeling more like a Help Desk rather than a teacher. I’m fielding questions about uploading images, uploading files vs dragging them, etc. The fun part is I was able to try Google Meet with a student. We were both in messy bun mode, but it’s okay…we’ll call it WFH hairdo.
At about 11:45a, we get the message from our school principal: SF Chronicle: Bay Area must shelter in place. We will get more details about it as information rolls out, but I believe my panicked state at the beginning of our Distance Learning is justified. I just needed some time to make peace with it. But now…what am I going to do? Grateful for all the resources and teacher communities out there! It’ll happen.
But….seriously. Bay Area Communities- we’ll be okay. Just stay home, practice social distancing, and that awesome skill we learned: Wash your hands!