We are inside a ticking time bomb. There are rumors flying (or speculation happening) in almost every conversation as to if (or more likely when) school will close and we will move to a fully remote model.
Have I taught everything my students need to know to be successful, independent and not overwhelmed with remote learning? Am I ready for remote teaching? Have I practiced everything I need to while I have my support system a few steps away? What other tricks can be up my sleeve for helping with tech problems?
This inner dialogue has lead to many “guinea pig” lessons in my room… aka lessons where I’m trying out something new! We are learning together and the outcome can go either way. No matter which way you slice it, these “guinea pig” lessons are an adventure every time.
“Alright my “guinea pigs” log on to your Google Calendar and find our Zoom link for today,” I say!
“How do I do that?” yells the kid from the back of the classroom.
“Done,” says the kid next to him at the same time.
Once we all navigate on to Zoom I try my best to pretend we are all in separate rooms so not answer the yells from across the room (good thing they are muted) and instead call on the students raising their hands on the screen in front of me.
“Ok so first we are going to click on the Chrome button at the bottom of our screen. Make sure to stay on Zoom. Once there get to Google Classroom and open our Jamboard,” I direct students before realizing I had been on mute the entire time and no one told me. BUT they had heard me being in the same room so were following the directions anyway.
“Now what,” says one kid. “I can’t find the Jamboard,” says another. “I signed off zoom by accident,” cries a third.
We are guinea pigs for about an hour. Me making mistakes, them making mistakes. Laughter and tears ensue. A student raises their hand on screen, “Can we please be done and go on a mask break now? I need to get off the computer.”
“Yes, we can. But know you will probably be guinea pigs again tomorrow and the next day and the next until I figure this teaching online thing out and you all get independent at learning on it to…just in case.”