I never thought it would happen, but it has. Technology has overtaken our lives and I mean that in a good way. Today, children are learning their lessons on specialized classes performed by their teachers from thee “comfort” of their own homes. These teachers are used to a classroom setting. They’re used to order and regimentation. They are not used to having their own families looking over their shoulders while they’re teaching.
Conference calls have replaced staff meetings. Zoom has taken the place of informal get togethers. Most social media is at an all time high, because we are people who need people. We’re the luckiest people in the world ….. whoops, sorry , I got caught up in the moment. Isolation is not a normal thing. We feel frustrated when we can’t get into an app or link up to a link. Some of this is totally new for most of us.
With the influx of COVID19 our lives have changed significantly. The theatre where I work is striving to keep a positive face and make classes available to those who want to jump on board and participate via the internet. The classes are free and available to various age groups. Yesterday was my first experience teaching a class this way. Needless to say, I’m going into uncharted areas. It should be the easiest thing in the world and it is for anyone under thirty, but for us old timers, it’s brand new.
The class was designed to last for thirty minutes, was geared for grades K-5 and I was going to teach how to create a believable character. Four eager students arrived on time, but the teacher was about ten minutes late. This wouldn’t happen in a regular teaching environment. Of course I was about a minute late for an after school class once and one of the students replied, “We thought you died and went to heaven.”
I had some basic fears about this new technology for me. I was a bit frightened about the up close and personal aspect. I mean I’m almost 78 years old. I possess a roadmap of lines upon my face. I worried they would see every imperfection, every nose hair and the teeth that were missing from my aging mouth. Fortunately once I got onto the site, I didn’t realize I had to hit a button to show my face. I didn’t and therefore all they knew about me was my voice. I was redeemed from all potential ridicule.
I have another class tomorrow and hope to show up on time. Since this is a class about building a character, my face will also arrive so they can actually see a face doing what I will try to teach them. Once the class started to roll along, I felt better about the entire experience and I look forward to more.
I do worry about those teachers who are now confined to their homes with their own children hounding them for attention and the perils and frustration of those educators. It can’t be easy for them. They’re used to their students. They aren’t used to being with their kids 24/7. Teachers need a place to escape to right now, just as everyone else that has been cloistered and will be for a long time. At least they’re tech savvy. I’m just an old woman trying to stay in the realm of the living.