Teaching in front of a camera has given me— and, I’m sure, every other teacher out there — a unique insight into what our students see when we talk and interact with them.
I have made some honest observations about myself during this time.
I really do have RBF. Sorry, kids. I’m not annoyed or angry, that’s just how my face looks.
When my eyes are tired, I tend to open them really wide after blinking. It tends to makes me look somewhat perpetually surprised. Prior to lockdown learning, I had no idea I did this.
At first, I touched my face a lot without thinking about it. Now? Not so much.
My coffee cups look even more enormous on camera than they actually are.
The little smiles I give to try to connect with my students, and to encourage and motivate them, can sometimes look a bit deranged.
My eyebrows are perhaps my most expressive feature.
My hair does, in fact, look really cool most of the time.
Despite all those things, my students keep on showing up to class, working hard, getting things done and putting a smile on my face. They regularly brighten every day I spend with them. They’re a pretty awesome bunch.
There are a few other things I have observed.
Bad hair days and/or desperate need for a cut and colour are easily fixed with a nice beanie/touque/knitted hat.
The best way to find beanies/touques/knitted hats nice enough to wear for work is to have friends who knit or crochet.
Also, a faux fur pom pom on a hat is far more satisfying than I ever realised.
Working from home has its benefits, but it is definitely not less work.
Looking at a screen for sustained periods of time is mentally and visually exhausting. I’ve started asking my students what sorts of trees are in their gardens, what they can see from their windows, and what’s happening outside their houses, just to make them look away from the screens every now and then.
I’m also spending a lot less time on screen outside of class. There is nothing like losing yourself in a book, but when your eyes are tired, listening to great audiobooks and podcasts while staring into the distance is an enormously underrated and enjoyable sanity saver.
Overall, things have worked fairly well for me.
On the Sunday evening before my final week of 100% remote teaching from home, I can honestly say that I can look forward to my classes this week with confidence.
I am also looking forward to seeing some of my classes and colleagues when we begging to return to school on June 1st. It will be great to get into a physical classroom again… although I wonder if that might feel a little weird now, too?
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