I, Joy Kirr, am a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. My 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of my learning experiences... Want to have me speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is my PORTFOLIO.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Two Good Stories from My Week

Story #1

Our last day all remote, April 12, even though our MOU says our district is staying remote on Mondays... I put my laptop on my raised table, as I stand on our remote days. I am able to sing loudly, dance, and be overall more ME on Mondays, so I use the raised table. Even though I remember to plug in the document camera and the dongle to my other screen, I guess I don't plug in the charger. I only realize this when everything turns off in the middle of my sentence. I lose everyone and everything. I swear (no worries - I'm not in front of any 12-13-year-olds at the moment). I plug it in, turn it on, and the new host (we'll call him Harvey) lets me in right away. I turn on the chat and I see a peer (we'll call him Hank) type in "Do the right thing, [Harvey]." Suddenly I start observing what I didn't even think I should be observing - some fear in some children's eyes, some relief, some confusion... and another student unmutes and asks, "Mrs. Kirr, can you put my camera back on? [Harvey] turned it off." I asked the class if there was something they felt they needed to share with me. I asked for direct messages if something needs to be said, and no one said anything. Harvey had already made me the host, and so we proceeded with the lesson. The next day, I was sure to head over to Harvey and Hank and thank them for whatever they prevented. Such maturity. I'm so proud of them.

Story #2

In one class, I have one student (out of two) who is consistently a minute or two (or more) late to the Zoom. The other was on the absent list. I opened the Zoom, put it half-way over the Jamboard warm up projected on the screen, greeted the in-person students, and waited for the tone to signal this student had arrived. The phone rang - it was the office saying that the one student was trying to get on the Zoom link. I told her it's open, so we'll look for them. Then one student told me to look at the Jamboard. Looking up, the entire thing was covered by a large (virtual) sticky note. It said, "We're trying to get into the Zoom!!" I'd done it. 120+ days into the school year, I'd started the wrong Zoom link. What a great way to get your teacher to know something!! Kudos to those two (yup - the one was suddenly not absent) for their quick thinking!

I love these stories. I had to document them, while still hoping we don't have Zoom open next year.

1 comment:

  1. Amen! That is true about hoping we won't need Zoom next year. Your second story is so funny. My goodness, how have we even managed to get this far? Enjoy your last days of this year, Joy.

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