Page 7 - Scene Magazine 46-02 February 2021
P. 7

 The Way I’ve Scene I
  t
BY DENISE POYER
   my father, who was convalescing from an injury, was at my house. He shuffled across the room to see what I was doing. I looked up at him and grinned, “I’m talking to Terri Sue! Look!”
I did have to learn the ins and outs
of Zoom, but when I go to the office a few days a week, aside from some new building entry protocols and the need to wear a mask, my work world is pretty much unchanged. Teachers, on the other hand, have had to completely reinvent themselves. They teach in-person unless it is deemed unsafe, and when that hap- pens, they switch to virtual teaching at a moment’s notice.
My sister, a kindergarten teacher,
is magical. She cleverly finds ways to engage fidgety five-year-olds while keeping an eyeball on her screen to make sure the kids can see the examples clear- ly on their screens. She is competing with the distraction of other people in the house, pets, and television, and does so with patience and compassion.
He stepped closer and picked up his chin a little to accommodate the glare
on his glasses and just looked at her. I watched his face and knew that he did not realize we were having a live conversa- tion. I said, “Say hi...” He said hi, then stepped back, started talking to me like I was not in the middle of an actual conver- sation, and then made a loud bodily noise that only a dad or teenager can make, and I almost fell off the couch. “Dad? She’s hearing this...” He still didn’t get it.
Sometimes they teach a hybrid class where some kids are virtual and others are sitting in the classroom. The virtual learning is recorded, so some kids watch the class at their own pace. Our amazing educators figured out how to bring learn- ing to life while the world stayed home. They spent many extra hours being their own student. They taught themselves how to use more than one virtual plat- form and how to deliver the curriculum routinely required by the state in a way that would reach every child effectively. They go the extra mile.
January 25th marked the return of in-class learning. Unfortunately, post-pan- demic, there are employment gaps, so some of our schools are short on teacher aides, janitorial staff, and bus drivers, and rock star teachers and other school staff are working like crazy to bridge the gaps.
I’m so glad that working from home on Zoom did not happen during his lifetime. Internet issues and lighting make virtual platforms challenging some days even if you know how to use them well. I recently saw Zoom compared to
I barely feel like dusting my house;
I sure don’t want to wash 25 desks and chairs before I go home every day. De- spite the weird year, teacher performance and effectiveness is being observed and measured as per usual protocol. It’s prolly a good thing I’m not teaching during these unprecedented times. You just know I’d be fired for wearing my swimsuit bottoms to work and spilling my wine during my review.
a séance. “Denise, is that you? Speak if you can hear us...” Many of us have managed to learn the finer nuances of sharing cameras, mics, documents, and
Some do safe-distance home visits, some do parades, and some delivered
When video chatting first be- came a thing, I was sitting on the couch one morning talking to a lifelong friend who lives across
the country, and
even video clips. We annotate, “raise our hand” and put questions in something called “Chat.” Some of you (you know who you are) are so Zoom savvy, you have even showed up to meetings and in- terviews dressed for work on the top and the pool on the bottom, but the real rock stars of the virtual world are teachers.
lunches. They dream up fun things (like crazy hat day) for virtual days, and they find ways to give help and encourage struggling students and parents alike. They know that not all parents want to, or have the capacity to have kids learn- ing from home while they juggle the parenting and work parts too.
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