Second Time’s the Charm
I’ve resisted comparing pandemic era teaching to my first year in a classroom. I mean, I may be uncomfortable, but I’m not having night terrors.
But after three weeks of teaching digitally I noticed something that hasn’t been true in a very long time: The second time I teach a class goes much, much smoother than the first.
There’s just so much I’m not prepared to prepare for. Did I upload that problem set? Did I change the permissions so everyone can read it? Did I prepare an agenda slide? Is it open in my second screen? Am I sharing my second screen? Did I remember my document camera? Why are breakout rooms not working? How long has Kendra been waiting to get back into the meeting? Oh, wait, am I muted again?
Teaching digitally has stripped me of the procedural expertise I’ve developed, and relied on, the past 20 years of running classrooms. The dozens of automatic decisions and reactions that usually speed class up are now slowing me down.
Luckily my students are patient and understanding. We’ll get up to speed eventually. But this was the first week I let myself dream a little about work getting back to normal. I look forward to being an expert again.