Not What I Thought

"The biggest challenge was connecting, getting students to get online and buy into this new way of learning."

Social Studies Teacher

Social Studies Teacher

McClintock Middle School

McClintock Middle School

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At first I thought I would HATE IT (virtual teaching)! I am an old-school vet (23 years) and I just didn't know how I would do it. I have always had a classroom and been surrounded by students and colleagues. But as the pandemic worsened and I realized I wouldn't see my 8th graders again, I was sad. Spring is my favorite time of the year and that is when my students flourish. I get to see all of the growth after all of the seeds I planted in the fall. This spring I wouldn’t see it.

I had a really bad Zoom bombing incident my second day of virtual school. So bad that I had to go to therapy because it was so jarring to me. But I didn't quit. I got better. I persevered and studied Zoom and learned how to keep myself and my students safe.

The biggest challenge was connecting, getting students to get online and buy into this new way of learning. Few did, majority didn't. But the opportunity to connect better came through Google Classroom and doing weekly check-ins. I would ask students questions about life, movies, experiences. Just letting them know that someone was thinking of them. I think it was a way that I kept myself sane and some of my students balanced.

I do/did miss the connections and seeing the students and my colleagues at work. School is a routine and when it isn't in session, I always feel like something is missing. I miss doing some of the hands-on lessons that really get my students engaged and are just plain fun to do. What I miss the least is the EXTRA STUFF! The lunch duties, the duty post, the inappropriate behaviors, the things that had nothing to do with education. During the pandemic, I focused mainly on what I am paid to do, teach. I was no longer a social worker, behavior specialist, security guard, a therapist...all the hats that teachers have to wear. I just had to put my best lessons forward. And I DID!! I was able to connect with students in a way I didn't before and it has been awesome in that way. My students were able to connect with me through Zoom without a fear of rejection that comes with the face-to-face. I came to love the chatting because the students could say things and so could I and I actually built good relationships.

I learned that I am really awesome and I loved virtual learning.

- Christine Tymes

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