Day 2 of Virtual School was a bit easier

My title is somewhat misleading. While Day 2 of our Virtual School was easier, the fact is that it’s 6 minutes to 11:00pm and I just finished my work for today. My to do list is still quite long, but I finished the work that I absolutely had to do to be ready for tomorrow morning. I’ve still got to film my Morning Message video in the morning before “school” starts at 8:00, but I look a bit worse for wear at the moment, so I thought it better to wait until I at least had a shower and put on some makeup.

My second day wasn’t as frantic. People were starting to get the hang of things, and while I had a steady flow of messages, texts, calls, and emails to attend to, I wasn’t completely bombarded like yesterday. Based on feedback from the students and parents yesterday, I scaled back the workload today. It’s difficult to gauge how long something will take students to do online and at home. In the classroom you just know, but online it’s so different. Something I think will take them a few minutes takes 30 and something the art teacher set to do over two days they did in an hour. We are all still finding our way.

I really enjoyed my 1-on-1 video conferences with my students, where I was able to chat with them individually about what they’ve been working on, what they needed support with, and what their next steps were. I was able to connect with 12 of my students today and I’ll be speaking with the remaining ones tomorrow. They seemed less nervous and awkward on our video chats today.

Something I hadn’t expected when this all began 3 days ago was that I’d end up being IT Support. I’m tech savvy enough, but I wouldn’t call myself a specialist or anything. However, this unique situation of being thrown into virtual schooling with no prior warning given to parents and students and very little preparation of staff presents some challenges. Students trying to figure out the ins and outs of the various platforms we are using while not physically being with me means I then need to troubleshoot issues remotely with a 10 year old. Of course, there were also some issues with loading resources and videos onto Seesaw. With everyone on all at the same time, some videos wouldn’t upload or wouldn’t play after being uploaded. We are learning patience and work arounds for the issues we come across, such as loading videos at night, when it’s calm, and saving them as drafts to be released in the morning.

On a more personal note, I didn’t take the breaks I’d intended to take today, although I wasn’t as worked up since it was quieter today. I managed to snack a bit during the day, but didn’t manage to eat lunch until 4:30. No wonder my stomach is hungry now…the late lunch/early dinner didn’t tide me over that long. Based on a suggestion from a fellow slicer yesterday, I managed to get a car over to school to pick up my standing desk, which was a definite win for today. After being at work for 12 hours, I had only managed to get in a measly 1,258 steps. I took a break and went for a half hour walk to get in a bit of exercise. I think that starting Monday I’m going to figure out how to get in a walk in the morning and the evening. With 11 more days of self-quarantine to go and at least that many days of virtual school, I’ve got to figure out a way to move more (and not go crazy!).

For those of you interested in what it’s like, here’s a sample of the things we’re doing with the students online.

I made my first YouTube video today of me reading a chapter from our read aloud for their library lesson tomorrow, where they will listen to the read aloud, comment their prediction underneath the video in Seesaw, and then do some independent reading.

Here’s a sample of our daily learning overview for tomorrow. My situation is unique in that we are in our PYP Exhibition, so rather than have lots of lessons, they have more time for researching and working through their Exhibition checklist, tasks, and blog.

Lastly, here are a few pictures of things that some of our other teachers have been doing in the virtual classrooms. I spent some time this evening going through and looking at their videos and work they’d loaded so I could give some feedback to them in our group chat.

Early Childhood Maths Activity
Year 1 (Kindergarten) Science/Unit of Inquiry Activity
Year 2 (Grade 1) Math Lesson
Art Lesson
Year 5 (Grade 4) Unit of Inquiry/Language Lesson

Looking forward to Day 3 tomorrow…and the weekend where I can rest and get ahead with videos for next week’s learning!

15 thoughts on “Day 2 of Virtual School was a bit easier

  1. Terje

    You are very generous with sharing the ways and kinds of tasks teachers give to the students. It was lovely to her you reading.

    Reply
  2. wordjourneysite

    I’m amazed with the amount of work you are doing to run a virtual classroom. I hope that as the 11 days unfold, it will get easier. And I hope you take care of yourself – this would burn me out in no time.
    I enjoyed seeing the examples of what you all are doing.

    Reply
  3. Fran McCrackin

    At first I naively thought it would be like our snow days- freedom! I am also amazed and so impressed with the thoughtful work you and colleagues are putting into your virtual school. Lovely to see the examples and read your encouraging notes to the teachers.

    Reply
  4. Kristy L

    I love seeing the artifacts you included in this post. I can’t imagine how much more difficult this would be with younger students. I have 10th and 11th graders, so it wouldn’t be quite as bad. I’m glad you’re getting the hang of it! You’re going to be able to sell your expertise after this! šŸ™‚

    Reply
  5. isbergamanda

    Thanks for sharing what is working for you. I still hope to escape the online learning with my second graders here in Surabaya, but we’ll see how it goes. I am continuing to read through other posts from international school teachers to see what is working for them in case I do have to go online.

    Reply
  6. shaggerspicchu

    Wow, you guys are rocking it. I can’t imagine pulling all of this together at a moments notice. You should incorporate a yoga or movement break for you and your students in the day.

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Virtual Read Aloud | my heart is happiest when i travel. read. write. connect.

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