Thank An Educator

It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks.

It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks. I’ve been continuing to work remotely, I produced a small business video for some hometown businesses, shooting and editing Family Recipe, and finishing out my third semester as an adjunct professor.

Going into this semester I felt like I had a handle on what was happening, it was the second time I would be teaching this course and third time teaching in general so while I certainly didn’t feel like a veteran, I felt much less nervous and more comfortable about expectations for both myself and my students….and then Pandemic.

Like most schools, we were told during spring break not to come in the following week, to reach out to students via email, and engage in remote learning, we thought surely this would only last a week or two…boy were we all wrong. As a media professional I am fairly tech savvy so migrating to e-learning was not OVERLY difficult, especially since my students are adults, I had to do a bit less hand holding than I would imagine middle and even high school teachers had to do to transitioning their classes online. Despite all the things working in my favor, the transition was less than ideal. I teach one college course, my friends who are real teachers? With a homeroom of thirty adolescents and 6 classes a day worth of  “I didn’t get my packet.” or, “I forgot to check my e-mail.” No thank you, I’ll take my college students, that said, there was no dearth of  “I didn’t realize the assignments had to be submitted.” I mean, they’ve always had to submitted, nothing has changed, I’ve never given an assignment that didn’t need to be followed through on in some way. It was a real head scratcher. On the other hand, I ended up having several students directly impacted by Covid, whether via illness in their family or being essential workers themselves, allowances were made for them. But for the “dog ate my homework” crowd? No way Jose.

Now I remember my undergrad days, not all that fondly, and I know I cut class and barely skated by so I get where these guys are coming from. On the other hand, entering my graduate program as a person who had been working for ten years worked more than full time during my own master’s program, paying for life, a spoiled dog, etc. I figured out very quickly the type of work ethic I needed to put in. I wasn’t here for C’s getting degrees, I felt like if I was paying all this money for the piece of paper that is currently shoved in a drawer somewhere then I should get As, and I did. I know I won’t change the minds of the students in my class, their dedication to their degree will need to come from within and my course is just a stepping stone. But I also don’t want them to ever be able to complain that I did them a disservice. I try to use my work experience with them quite a bit in the teaching. They are in a course with a television and media professional as an instructor and in theory want to pursue a career in the field, so it won’t be on my watch that the enter the job market ill prepared.

Here’s to hoping they feel like they got something worthwhile out of this wacky semester. Here’s to the idea that schools will re-open in the fall. And most importantly here’s to the real teachers be they kindergarten or full-time professors, because how they managed to implement remote learning, often with no training at all, and with potentially non-compliant student and parent populace, in a matter of days is beyond me. Go buy your favorite teacher a new notebook, or send your favorite educator an e-mail. Give them a shout out in some way because they could use it right about now.

Thank you, Cali, for everything you taught me and for every time you continue to teach me when I ask you stupid questions about things I do not know how to do!

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