Day 44 for me.

Day 3 of full remote-instruction.

Dear Diary,

This morning an artist who was an excellent fart noisemaker, dancer, silly face maker, and all-round entertainer welcomed me. A quick message to the parent of said entertainer gave me the reassurance that I had seen the final performance. I am thankful for supportive parents like these. This still doesn’t beat the story my colleague shared from her first day of remote-learning when a student showed up to her virtual class with a python around her neck.

Having experienced managing classes from a screen for the last 3 days has me wishing that Google Classroom not only would allow the teacher/administrator to have the option to see the learner’s view of the GC, but also the ability to mute everyone at once and keep them muted. I relate this to the child locks on car doors. Once the parent enables the child lock, the child has no choice in the matter until the parent once again provides access to the power.

At lunchtime, I consumed my salad in record time so that I could take a brisk walk for the remainder of my lunch period. It was beautiful outside!

I definitely needed that refresher for the energy involved in online teaching for 1st grade and kindergarten artists. They are just as energetic in front of the screen as they are in the classroom!

Reasons why I am okay with the full remote-learning model:

1. I have been able to walk my own children to school in the morning.

2. I find it is easier to manage one instructional mode at a time.

3. It is exciting to see the artists’ faces and listen to the excitement for art class just as if we were in the classroom studio setting.

4. It is okay to work with what materials we have available at home. We are creative artists and will explore our options. We will focus on artistic behaviors and limited media.

5. I feel as though in the last 3 days I have been able to build a stronger sense of relationship and community with each class than I have been able to buzzing around the classrooms, being sure to socially distance from others. Sharing the screen has been a more intimate learning experience as we all are welcoming others into our homes and meeting family members we wouldn’t otherwise visit.

6. I have been able to communicate with parents and grown-ups more in the last 3 days than I have in a long time!

Reasons I miss “normal” school:

Simply put, I miss being in the presence of others, smiling and laughing, the smell of art materials, the chaos that sometimes happens at clean-up, and artwork gifted to me during class time. There are so many reasons, but I am perfectly comfortable working in the safety of my home when these decisions are made. I can’t teach if I am sick from a virus or worse; I can’t teach if I’ve brought home a potentially life-threatening illness to my child with a pre-existing condition. I want to be safe. I want others to be safe. I want us all to land on the other side of this pandemic with lifelong lessons to take care of our loved ones and ourselves.

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