Today, we “met” with our students.
I say met, but it was over our computers. We put Google Meet to the test of 80 kids, five teachers, and one administrator. Well, we invited everyone but got 35 kids, five teachers, and an administrator. I sent out the link request on Monday, and immediately, we had kids asking: What. Is. This.
We just said it’s a video chat and you’ll have to come to see it. We did have a couple of students flat out deny the request (party poopers), but all in all, it was a successful first time. We first had our chance to say hi to everyone, talk a little bit about what was happening in our own lives (one of our teachers had a bat in her basement), then turned it over to the students. We had dirt bike/4-wheeler rides, fishing, farming, x-box/ps4/computer gaming, sleepovers (grrrrr), fair animal being bought, and so much more. The big question of the day, “Do we have to do our late work?”. Short answer, yes.
We had other questions about school, assignments, picking up books, and a few others. They were what we all remembered, full of energy and life. We saw dogs and cats and a duck on camera. We saw little sisters and brothers, a couple of moms and dads, but what we really saw: happy kids. Kids who were happy to see their teachers, their classmates, and to just see normal for a little bit. We closed out the meeting and chaos ensued. Happy, obnoxious, joyful chaos. Thankfully, I shut it down at noon or they’ve have broken Google Meet and we’d have to pay for it! 🙂
From there, I hopped in car and headed up to one of our nursing homes to help a fellow teacher out. The residents have been practicing social distancing inside and allowing no outside visitors. My teacher friend and I were tasked to set up some technology for residents who have not been able to visit their loved ones. So, we got their YouTube up and running along with a couple of subscriptions set for local online church services. They’ll also be able to search for older movies of their time period which seem to be everywhere on YouTube! We reset the Amazon accounts so they can watch a few more up to date movies. There were iPads around so we were able to talk to a few people to get Facebook Messager set up for families to chat with each other. We’ll also see if we can get an older computer up and running to stream out a few things.
My co-worker’s mom is a resident in this place, and all the workers there we were appreciative of our help. It not often that people say “thank you for your help” as much as I heard today. It doesn’t happen very often in the classroom that’s is for sure. 😦
All in all, it was a good day. A day where again, I felt like I had a purpose both in the screen and in real life.
Again, a feeling that’s not happened much lately.
A good feeling.