Many teachers around the world have now experienced teaching remotely. Students are asked to join online or be have their lessons delivered by emails.
Here, we are using Microsoft Teams at my work place. There are some schools using Zoom or Google classroom. I actually liked MS Teams because it is not as vulnerable as Zoom and Google is always a concerns here because it is taking private data so our school is rather reluctant.
How different teaching in the classroom and remotely? very, huge and enourmous different. I have experienced many funny, bad and sad experienced.
Here are some:
First few days of teaching, I was explaining the task on Microsoft Teams, one of my kid interrupted me abruptly
“Miss, I need to go to toilet and I will take a long time”. I tried so hard not to laugh on the video chat and responded, “of course, this will be recorded and you can watch later” and I added “do not bring the laptop or phone to the toilet”.
then another jumped in, “Miss, can I please finish my noodles too because I dont like soggy noodles and I woke up late”.
“People, you may go quickly to the toilet or eat as long as whatever you are missing, check over the video lesson online and asked for assistance”. I replied and I was thinking, they could just be sneaky about it.
After explanation of the lesson, students were doing their own directed learning, my job was to stay online if there were any questions. One of the kid joined the chat, he looked ill. I was shocked and quickly checked if he was okay,
he told me this “Miss, I really cannot hold it anymore, I need to go to toilet”.
I rolled my eyes, and said
and he asked again “can I get a permission?”,
I replied “You do not need too, it is student directed learning”
“What does that mean, Miss?”
“You can choose to do any of your work, or free time”
“Do I need my parents’ permissions?”
“I thought you cannot hold it anymore”
“Oh yes, so can I go?”
I could hear the parents at the back screamed, “Did you get your teacher’s permission to leave the laptop?”
I explained the task to my Year 7, then I told them to go on to their SDL (Student Directed Learning).
This kid forgot to turn his mic off, his dad spoke to him and the whole class could hear, “So, are you done, have your teacher finished explaining, can we go shopping now?”
I could hear the two of them negotiating about what to do
then I suddenly reminded everyone “Remember to turn your microphone off because people might hear your conversation”
I heard the dad apologised and the kid was embarrased “sorry Miss”
Then I realised I had the power to mute all.
A kid did not sign in to my lesson, we were meant to give explanation at the start of the first 15-30 minutes. I had to report the kid and the parents will get a message that they were not in class. This mother emailed me and got furious at me, she stated that her kid was working and why did I complained.
As usual, I was not going to hold back myself, I replied and cc everyone else, that the kid did not respond to the roll attendance and the name was not on the video chat record. I was thinking that I could not see what your child is doing, woman, I am not a superhero.
Mum did not replied after that and I reported her. Apparently this is not the first she has abused a teacher but she is definitely picking on the wrong one this time.
My kid sent me an email to go over his work. I saw the signature at the end, King regard, I laughed so hard. I was going to reply “Your majesty to him”, that would give him a heart attack so I have chosen, not to.
I told him about him, he apologised profusely and I ignored him. Few days later, while I was talking to him about extra work cos he finished everything earlier and before everyone. He asked that if I was still angry at him, I said no and asked for the reasons. He mentioned the incident and I laughed, I said I purposely was not replying and he said, he was having a heart attack because of it. I told him about I was going to reply in “Your Majesty”, he said luckily I did not do it because he would be hospitalised and declared death.
Other kids who were there and me, we were all laughing.
Teaching remotely can be quite lonely sometimes especially when kids are ignoring your talk and not responding. I wondered that how many have signed in and were not there at all. I wanted to test them but we were not to make them feel stressed.
One day, I was having enough, I told my lovely class.
“This is it. I am done, let’s do something crazy, you need to teach me this grammar point using videos, games, or pictures or anything but writing on Word or PowerPoint cos I am done with boring stuff.”
Kids were confused, actually I was too, not sure what to expect.
I showed them a picture which I edited with my cat on it and stating the work
They did a marvellous job, it was magnificent, see sometimes it is okay to be a bored teacher and demanding some fun.
I was bored and asked the kids to entertain me before I let them go. One of my girl told me that she was working in the supermarket, this old guy requested her to put sanitizer on his hand. She did it, after a couple of minutes, he came back for more, he did it so many times. My girl told him that he could burn his hand soon, his replied “If I burn my hand, I wont get coronovirus because the sanitizer has infused in my body. Not sure whether he is smart or dumb.
Time to return to my remote classroom
To be continued …