Zen and the Art of Teacher Maintenance

One of the parts of my online teaching job is to create and present lessons for our students across the entire nation. However, students may or may not choose to attend live, as all the sessions are recorded. This frequently leaves me waxing poetic to my cats, the neighbors, and a random assortment of my son’s stuffed animals. Here is a poem I wrote at 4:30 this morning, looking ahead to five full hours of lonely teaching.

Five hours

of

live classes

in an

empty

room.

 

If

a teacher

teaches,

and

no one

hears,

does it

make

a

sound?

8 thoughts on “Zen and the Art of Teacher Maintenance

    1. That’s good to hear! I have been teaching online just long enough that it is easy to forget that sometimes you just get blank looks and ringing silence even with bodies in the room. (At which point I usually make them stand up to do jumping jacks to prove that they are still alive. 😀)

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  1. I think it must be challenging to teach to “invisible” students. One of the most rewarding things, to me, about teaching, are the notes and pictures that I store in a folder called my “Love Me” file. (They are only allowed to go in the drawer after decorating my wall or desk for a while.) You can probably tell I work in an elementary school. That being said, I commend you for your important role in the lives of students who thrive in this “alternative” teaching delivery style.

    I love the poem. Your emotions really come through.

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    1. In the classroom, I always feed off of the audience feedback. (Teaching seems like improv to me, and without feedback, you are dying up there!) I’m very imaginative, and have really had to harness that to be able to present in a way that sounds encouraging and natural when I am the only one there. For the first year, I really did present to two teddy bears just so I could make eye contact with something. I picture some of the my hundreds of former students so I can imagine faces and bodies filling up my mental space, stuff like that. On the plus side, when I get a wee bit carried away with gesticulating my arms all over the place and pour hot tea in my lap, no one can see me!

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