As a writer of children’s stories, I have found it fascinating listening in on my kids’ remote class this past week. So for anyone else out there who wants to know what it’s like inside a virtual class these days, I give you the following transcript based on my impressions of the class.
*names have been changed (as have some of the details) to protect the innocent
**I have always had enormous respect for teachers, but these last few days have increased it tenfold. Not only do they have a seemingly unending supply of patience, but they’re doing a lot with almost no notice and constantly changing requirements.
Teacher: Good morning and welcome to class. Just so you know, we don’t have a French teacher assigned to us yet, so instead of French this afternoon, we’ll be doing Art.
Riley: Can I go to the bathroom?
Teacher: Yes, but in future, maybe try to go before class. Okay. So I’m going to start by showing you how to log in to… Yes, Rylee F., you have a question?
Rylee F.: Who’s our French teacher?
Teacher: Right, well, as I just said, we don’t have one assigned yet, so we’re going to do Art this afternoon instead of French. Okay, so to log into the math site you need to-
Ryerson: Can I get a drink of water?
Teacher: Yes, but in future please bring a water bottle to your desk, or drink before class starts. Now, math. In your classroom, click on Math.
Kayden: I’m not in a classroom. I’m at home.
Teacher: Right. We are all at home. But on your computer you have a page called your classroom. It’s where you got the link to this meeting. Can everybody see that? Riley B. Do you have a question?
Riley B.: Do we have French today?
Teacher: No, we don’t have a French teacher yet. We’ll be doing Art this afternoon. Let’s try and focus on getting into the math site. Has everyone clicked on Math?
Riley B., Riley S., Ryleigh, Kayden & Caden: NO!
Teacher: Ok. I’ll just give everyone another moment to click on Math…
Cayden: I don’t like Math.
Rileigh: I’m really good at Math.
Teacher: Ok. Let’s try to keep our microphones muted unless I call on you. Okay, so if everyone has clicked on Math, you should see a link to the Math site we’re going to use. Kaden C, you have a question?
Kaden C: I don’t see a link.
Teacher: Okay, are you in Math?
Kaden C.: No, I’m in my bedroom.
Teacher: On your computer. Go to the Classroom, then click Math, then click the link. Ryerson?
Ryerson: Can I go to the bathroom?
Teacher: Yes. Okay, is everyone on the link? Right. So next you need to find your name and click on it, and enter the password that was on the Math page. Yes, Rileigh M.?
Rileigh M.: My password doesn’t work.
Teacher: Make sure you’re using the right name and that you didn’t mistype the password. Cayden D. you have a question?
Cayden D.: Can I go to the bathroom.
Teacher. Yes. Okay class, how about if you need the bathroom, you just write that in the chat?
Rileigh M.: I got in!
Teacher: Excellent. Right, so once you’ve logged into the site, I want you to do five questions, so I can see where you are in Math.
Rylee T.: Can I just watch You Tube instead?
Teacher: No, it’s Math time. I need you to do the five questions.
Rylee T: I don’t like Math. I’m just going to watch You Tube.
Raleigh: My favourite YouTube is Minecraft videos.
Teacher: Ok, gang, it’s not time to talk about YouTube, it’s time for Math. I’m going to give you fifteen minutes to do your questions…Yes, Riley B.?
Riley B.: Where do we find the link?
Teacher: The link is under Math, in your Classroom section on your computer. Do you see it?
Riley B.: Yes.
Teacher: Okay, are you in now?
Riley B.: Yes.
Teacher: All right. So we’re going to take the next fifteen minutes to answer five questions. Does anyone have any questions before we do that? Yes, Caden N.?
Caden N.: Do we have French today?
I’m telling you, folks, teachers are worth their weight in gold. If you know one, thank them…and maybe consider dropping off a big box of chocolates.