I am making this post early today as it is Friday and my plan is to not even turn on my computer when I return home this evening — at least for a few hours. It has been a truly exhausting week and I just want to lay in bed and read my book. Tomorrow, I will resume work on next week’s lesson plans and materials creation but I do hope to get out and take a walk somewhere Saturday or Sunday. I think getting a bit of fresh air and exercise might be a better way to combat COVID-19 than just sitting at home in the dark.
Someone from the school came around and took a few photos during one of my lessons yesterday. Usually, I never receive these types of photos; if I want a photo of me teaching, I make a blurry selfie. With online teaching, I can now take screenshots but they don’t show the surroundings. So I was quite pleased when these photos arrived in my In-Box. The photographer had asked me to remove my mask which I was reluctant to do but compromised with a chin-drop. I keep it on while teaching since the library is almost always crowded with other teachers during my lessons.
The lesson was for a P2-level class (Lower Primary, grade 2) about objects in the classroom. It was a mix of realia (real objects that I held up to the camera) and flashcards. The students drew each item in their notebooks and wrote the vocabulary next to the pictures. At the end, I asked them to put their names in their notebooks and to then take a photo to send to my class folder. I made similar requests to each class taught for the past two weeks, in-class work or homework, but this was the first to actually do it! I was quite pleased as I checked the folder last night and found plenty of photos from the students.
While some of the spelling was not EXACTLY what was on the screen, I think they did very well under the circumstances. A lot of the kids are using their parents’ mobile phones, some have tablets, very few actually have a laptop or a PC and the screen orientations differ widely. I cannot see more than a few students at a time when I am sharing a screen and most either do not turn their cameras on at all or they play with different effects. My usual view of the students during a lesson looks like this:
On my screen, the students block sits to the right of the images or video I am sharing. If somebody is viewing on a mobile device, I believe that is all they see and NOT the shared screen. Some of them tell me what they can and cannot see. Most of them do not.
I will be very happy when we can once again be together in a real classroom as I find that much, much easier. As we begin to average more than 20,000 cases each day, I think that day is far in the future. I hope I am proven wrong on that one.