It was too hard for me to give up teaching entirely, so I run one elective per term. Right now I’m teaching public speaking to a group of highly energetic high school freshmen and sophomores.
Whenever I’m giving information or directions, I have slides up on the screen. It really helps my kids focus. Last week I was reminding them of an upcoming due date with the slide below.
We were, at that point, expecting a winter storm over the weekend and into this week, so I was not surprised when a student raised his hand and asked, “But what if we have snow days?” I got to experience the joy of perfect planning as I advanced to the next slide.
It was so perfect. I was so happy.
I promise, I also have a point. My school uses Google’s suite of educational tools, so all my students have gmail accounts with a school domain and access to a bunch of tools including sites and Google classroom. All of this interconnectivity allows me to create online spaces for my students much like the one we’re using here.
They were a little sad to hear that the due date wouldn’t change, but pleased when I assured them that no I would not post any additional assignments if school was cancelled and that I would be available by email and on chat to answer questions and look over drafts during school day hours. I believe that, in the future, it might be possible for schools like mine to count instruction given in this way. Not only would that mean we wouldn’t have to make up snow days in the summer, we also would be providing kids with very real experience since distance work and learning are becoming more and more common.
Also, I’m super bummed that the winter storm in the PNW seems to have completely bypassed Portland. My parents in Western Washington have almost 3 feet of snow at their house, and it even snowed in Vegas last night. I was looking forward to snuggling by the fire with my dog and practicing my hyperlinked librarian skills.