Day 10 of full remote-instruction.

Dear Diary,

Yesterday, I realized by the end of the evening that despite having thoughts and ideas buzzing around my mind all day, I simply did not have the time, or the energy to type them out for you. 

This morning marked the beginning of the end of our 2-week fully virtual instruction. Today is also Friday the 13th, and it would seem like a full moon day as well by all craziness that seemed to happen today. During one class a random phone number appeared in our meet to which I quickly removed from the meeting. I then adjusted the host settings so that a waiting room was enabled. In the next class, more than half of the artists were met with difficulty entering the Google Meet. Some people were able to enter into the waiting room, while others were denied that the meet even existed. I fielded emails and Class Dojos while trying to manage online class, so that those struggling could join. In some cases, I had no idea how to fix the problems and unfortunately, some artists could not join. When the following class met, everyone joined without problem; only 2 were absent. During this class, I felt like I was playing a game of Whack-a-Mole at a carnival, but instead of holding a giant soft mallet, I was using my cursor to constantly mute the young artists even after I instructed to keep the microphones off at the time. Later during our 30-Second Spotlight (artists share time), an artist described his artwork with the theme of hunting in the woods, which led to an involved conversation among the boys who felt the obligation to tell us everything under the sun about hunting. I could barely get a word in to get us back on track.

Today also marked the highest number of volunteer show-and-tell events that I’ve experienced, and mostly with adorable, cuddly pets. My dog, Miles, a big Standard Poodle, too, made himself known to a class when he apparently noticed a squirrel and thought that was a great time to voice his loud bark, which then led to more volunteer show-and-tell and questions about pets.

Second day in a row I’ve been invited to a Google Meet by the same student, and this time I was on my prep, so I joined. Apparently a student has been adding me to join because it’s an option on the Google Meet. Luckily there was a teacher in the class and addressed the issue. Add that to the wish list for Google – the host can only invite others to the Meet, especially of the Meet is an educational class.

Boy, oh boy. In the final class of Friday, my youngest artists were sharing their knowledge of primary and secondary colors, when from the background view of one of my artists appeared a dancing man rocking his unchoreographed moves from one side of the screen to the other, not once, but twice. I lost it and couldn’t control my laughter.

We concluded our professional work day with notice that the district would continue full remote-learning until Thanksgiving break, returning to the schools on December 2. I am both happy and disappointed by the news. I have found the silver lining regarding teaching from home, mostly dealing with the increased amount of time I have with my family. Like many, I was planning to return to the classroom, having access to a variety of supplies at our fingertips, and looked forward to experiencing the positive energy that the artists bring first hand and in-person. Safety and wellness first.

Thank goodness today was full of excitement.