A small town teacher teaching with Zoom in a pandemic.

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Governor Pritzker announced yesterday that brick and mortar schools will be closed the rest of the school year.
Closing school buildings is absolutely necessary for the safety of staff and students.
I had an online chat with a downstate Illinois teacher yesterday.
…………………………………….

Special Education teachers in my district and the town coop were told today to revise and rewrite ALL their IEPs by next week.

Our union president said she hopes our IEA uniserv director will stop the extra work.

Of course, Special Education teachers just lost all their assistants and we are GREAT at asking for waivers against adding full time aides in the special ed room. Losing assistants means they are still paid, but it is difficult to teach assistants how to use all this tech and stay with IEP goals and individualizing.

Grade level teachers were asked to choose a few things to teach for the rest of the year in Math and reading/ela.

That was the only revision of plan.

We have all day and every Friday inservices now and they just told the speech teacher she must provide services for Catholic school kids who were on her schedule for Friday mornings.

These are very long days.

Not sure what administration is doing but telling us to relax during the weekend…. but have lessons in all subjects ready to go for Monday.

A teacher friend in a nearby district must teach 3 hours of Zoom with a small group every day and grade 5 assignments per child per day.

She is in tears most days because of the amount of work.

Teachers are overwhelmed.

Today we had to share, “what is working well.”

They didn’t ask, “What help do you need.”

I am helping her learn the technology and sending her to sites that auto grade but those sites are freezing because many teachers are using them.

Every time students or parents comment privately or on the assignment, we get an email. It is nice because we can answer questions but you also have to filter through kids writing MEOOOOOWWW.

We get an email when assignments are handed in and when resubmitted. It takes about 7 keystrokes to return each graded assignment and my hands have been cramping every day.

We also get an email when students decline or accept a suggestion that we make on their assignment. I am guessing there is a setting that can shut off some of these emails, but I don’t have time to look for it.

I was just told that while in Instagram Zoom meeting “Please have yourself on mute” When I mute kids because their dog is barking and we can only hear their house, they unmute themselves. I mute them again. They unmute as fast as I can press mute.

I was also told: “Sit Up (no laying in bed).”

I am laughing because kids do lay in bed and get further under the covers during the lesson. One was laying in bed the entire lesson and at the end of the lesson, he fell out of bed.

What are the Zoom rules? Do they need to be followed? Should the teacher mute themselves?

Teachers are the official cheerleaders to try to help kids try to communicate through Zoom. We turn their camera on and some turn into silent film stars until their preschool sibling shows up chattering…then we all grab toys and stuffed animals, including the teacher and chatter away.

 

Chat Conversation End

 

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