Initially, the closure seemed to be short-term, perhaps only a few weeks at most. Many teachers post by the kitchen table or log on from the sofa. This is a temporary setting that can be helped before the school reopens and normal teaching resumes.
However, day by day, it became clear that it would not return to normal quickly. As a result, teachers settled in the new virtual classroom (or at least tried it once) and made their home arrangement easier to manage in the long term.
Today, two months have passed, and educators across the United States are teaching remotely from the dining room, bedroom, living room and porch. Moreover, in the process, they are adapting to the completely different style and rhythm of the working day.
Take Janet Lake as an example. She is used to standing all day and teaching ninth graders at her school in the San Diego Unified School District. In the first week of distance learning, she tried to sit down, but her feet were swollen. Therefore, she created a temporary standing desk and now works here every day.
Or ask a middle school teacher in Baltimore, Barbie Prince (Barbie Prince) to teach. She is used to walking around in the classroom, watching students' shoulders to monitor their progress. Her new classroom (limited to windows on the computer screen) feels very strict.
Some educators have set up home offices and are ready to go before the pandemic, but most people have since bought new office equipment: desks, desks and chairs, external monitors, keyboards, mice, headsets, Speakers and filing cabinets. The expenditures-suddenly but necessary-add up.
Many educators describe the switch from a traditional classroom to a so-called "COVID-19 classroom" at home as an unwelcome situation because it hinders the relationship between students and teachers, technology adds complexity, and misses severely Beloved teaching aids. Talking in the Zoom classroom feels strange and isolated.
There are still some conveniences. A teacher said that she was relieved now that she could go to the bathroom at any time. The other said he could eat snacks when he was hungry. Others described the focus of their work without interruption, the extended time. For some people, this is a welcome change, from classrooms without windows to rooms with plenty of natural light. Some people say that they also enjoy more quality time with their families.
These are some of the knowledge we learned when educators shared their experience of working at home and teaching, and took a few photos of their new settings. We rounded the image below (and more details).
Scott Merrick used to work in the computer laboratory of McMurray Middle School at Metro Nashville Public Schools. Now, he works on a converted bedside table in the front room of his home. The bedside table is located in front of a large window, overlooking his garden, a maple tree and neighbor’s house. Around him in the room are his records, his guitar, his dog, a stationary exercise bike and a trash can full of his works-including poems and short stories.
For Merrick, the setting itself is an improvement. But he can hardly see students anymore, only those who log in to his daily office hours, and since his courses are not core courses, and the area is still studying how to distribute laptops to everyone, these students are few .
Like many people who work from home, Kristen Messer (Kristen Messer) walks around in different parts of her house all day, keeping her "COVID-19 classroom" portable. She started at the kitchen table every day, bringing her laptop, paperwork, microphone and lights, and meeting with students. She and her students (second-year students at Stella Brockman Elementary School in Manteca, California) used many digital tools, so she did not put any posters or signs in the background. After the video conference was over, she "retreated to a quiet living room" and used different sets of work materials for planning and recording.
She likes video conferencing because she can see her students during the meeting, but it is noisy. She said: "I can't tell you how many times I mute the microphone during the conversation."
Especially her dog seemed to be satisfied with the new setting, but she missed the opportunity to have lunch with colleagues.
Esther Schmitt commutes between the bedroom and the living room and teaches every day. The second grade teacher at Los Angeles Unified had been working at her table for two weeks, but when she heard that the closure would continue, she made a new plan.
Schmitt bought a table and chair, a monitor with a microphone and camera, and a trolley to keep up with all the paperwork she had accumulated. She said: "Therefore, this transition has incurred a lot of unexpected costs." Schmitt has been teaching for 34 years. She said it was the "first time" for her, but she and Her colleagues "have been adjusted and adjusted according to the needs of our students."
Barbie Prince, a middle school teacher at the Krieger Schechter Day School near Baltimore, put her desk on the kitchen table, then brought two desks, a laptop stand and a cushioned office Chair, "So everything I need is nearby." She missed all the space and expenses in the classroom—be able to walk around to check on students, teach in different parts of the room and take students outside.
Jennah Castillo enters the virtual classroom from the desk she set up in the corner of the bedroom. On the desk were all the tools she used to lead digital learning with third-year students at De Anza Magnet School in El Centro, California.
Castillo tried to incorporate color schemes into her home furnishings so that students could recognize them in the classroom: blue, green and yellow. The background of her new desk is her college graduation hat with the outline of an apple on it that says "Now it's my turn to teach!"
She said that although her new device is comfortable and quiet, it is indeed more distracting at home than a traditional classroom.
Janet Lake, a ninth grade teacher at Morse High School in San Diego, works in her family room, using the fireplace as a temporary bookcase and printer desk. She set up tall tavern tables so that she could stand while working, because she was used to it.
Lake added lighting, scrolling bookshelves, office supplies and music players in the work area. Not to mention all the techniques she had to implement at "astounding speed."
Lake said: "My classroom is better, but I think my students have gradually gotten to know me in the past two months, which is much better than what I have known about me in the first seven months."
Stacey Roshan, a math teacher and director of innovation and education technology at Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland, has been working at a desk in a corner of her apartment. Since the school closed, she has upgraded the settings to include keyboard trays, keyboards and mice, and is waiting for the delivery of new desks and chairs.
She is enjoying the long time she can concentrate on completing the task. But there are also many disadvantages. She said: "I really want to be surrounded by people and students." "Many things feel laborious and take longer, for example, giving students feedback about work digitally rather than in person."
Roshan is in favor of using technology to support teaching, but she is aware of its shortcomings. Since she does not personally communicate with students to explain certain concepts or clarify comments on assignments, she spends more time ensuring that her feedback is easy for students to understand. "In the end, I think we can adopt a more efficient system, but we don't have time to build some such routines in the classroom, because we switched to distance learning so quickly and thought it was temporary in the first place," she said.
Bob Dillon, the technical director of the St. Louis University City School District, sometimes works on a hammock outside the house. He said: "According to the time of day, mood and other people circulating in this space, every part of the house is a learning space."
Emily Tate (
) Is a reporter for EdSurge, covering early childhood and K-12 education. Find her on emis [at] edsurge [dot] com.
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