A Day in the Life of Miss Patterson

Life as we know it looks different then it did two months ago. Looking back two months, I would never have guessed that this would be our reality. I actually never would have guessed this would ever be our reality. Not in contact with our students, not getting to hug them everyday, not being in our classrooms, not being able to enjoy spring weather together, no field trips, no good-bye, not being able to get a hold of some students-our normal has completely changed. Every time I am asked how I am doing, I respond “I miss my students”. A day in the life is mainly missing students.

Fast learning has taken place for many educators during this time. Technology and resources we never had time to dig in to are now what we are using each day. It’s like forced professional development that is the practical and best way to learn. A goal for myself as an educator this year was to learn the ins and outs of Seesaw. I joined a community of practice to learn more about the app. I have been using Seesaw in my classroom for communication with parents but had never focused my attention on the other features I knew were in it. When March came around I had started looking in to more of the features and learning about them. When news of schools closing became a reality, I quickly learned what I needed to to get my students signed into their own accounts. I became a Seesaw Ambassador to understand it better and be able to share with my colleagues. Now I am using Seesaw everyday to teach lessons and send activities to my students. I am grateful for this time to be able to learn and know how to apply Seesaw to my classroom when life goes back to ‘normal’.

The problem with technology is not everyone has access. Each day I send three lessons or activities out on Seesaw. I have about eight out of twenty six students who complete and participate in these lessons each day. I have four who have not connected to Seesaw and don’t have access to it. Online learning is great when all have access to it. Each student that is participating is using different devices. Some have old phones, tablets, ipads, chrome books, or desktops. Each of these devices work differently for the apps and technology we use. Many of my students are also learning to type while trying to learn online.

What I really miss the most is being able to talk and connect with students. I have been working on getting students onto Google Meets as that is an approved platform we can use to connect with students. Many of my students are in daycare and not able to come to an assigned time. Currently I am working on getting a few students at a time to meet using parent emails to connect. Being able to see their faces has brightened my days.

I use zoom regularly to meet and collaborate with colleagues. I also have been attending many professional development webinars to keep busy and embrace the time we have and all the free information out there. Since learning that we are not going back in June my school has been working hard to prepare for fall.

My day is full of meetings, emails, Seesaw, google slides, Epicbooks, google meets, and much more all in front of a screen. Some days I feel like I am busier then I was before and still feel exhausted at the end of the day. The best thing I have for all this screen time {yes this is a plug/advertisement} is my blue screen glasses from my brothers optometry clinic. I highly recommend everyone that is working in front of a screen to get a pair of these glasses.

Some days are full, some days are hard, some days are fun, sometimes it’s difficult to find motivation to work at all. If anyone else feels this way you are not alone and it is okay! It is okay to still feel like you’re learning. I know many educators are on a rollercoaster of emotions these days and that’s okay.

I am thankful for having technology to stay connected with student, colleagues and educators around the world. This has been a neat time to see the education world come together and support one another.

Thank you for reading!

Published by christinapatt13

I am a grade 2/3 teacher in Regina, Sask. "The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing.” – Albert Einstein

12 thoughts on “A Day in the Life of Miss Patterson

  1. I often think of the struggles of the younger students. It must be so much more of a struggle to keep them engaged via technology. I teach grade 6/7 so they are a little more used to the screen time. I have wondered as well about blue screen glasses. I have heard a lot of good things about them lately…Might be something I have to invest in.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post Christina! It looks like you are doing some great things with Seesaw and other tools in the classroom. You said it best, there are many challenges when it comes to engagement with supplementary learning. Whether it be lack of access, poor technology, motivation, or so many other factors, it definitely requires some serious discussion if supplementary learning were to continue in the fall.

    I might need to get some of those glasses as some days I am so sick of staring at my computer screen!

    Thanks for the read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Christina,
      You are doing an amazing job organizing and teaching your young students remotely. Parents must be so appreciative of your leadership in this time. I work at a 6-12 school and can’t imagine what it must be like to lose the face-to-face interaction with younger students. One thing that is exactly the same is the feelings you described about not being able to say goodbye. I still feel cheated that we didn’t get the opportunity to have a proper goodbye and now we have to forge our way though in a new remote world. It is apparent by your post, that your relationships with your students have followed you into your online classroom as well. Also, good idea about the blue screen glasses! My whole family could use a pair.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It is very evident how much you care about your students. This is definitely a tough transition for everyone, but it is clear that you are doing your best, stepping up your game, and making this new type of learning fun, engaging, organized (which is huge for parents), and meaningful (evidence of growth mindset). Your students are lucky to have you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Christina,
    Your care for your students definitely jumps off the page. I know the feeling you mentioned at the beginning of your blog – I miss my students is the first thing that I say. If nothing else this experience has reminded me of how much I love being a teacher because I the relationships you form. And how those relationships do not feel the same remotely.
    I have taken to hosting class meetings that are purely social with my students and prep teachers because I feel it takes the pressure off the time we get to spend together “face to face”, and helps break up the endless staring at the screen (in my blue light glasses that may or may not be legit….).
    I agree with Trevor, we need to not consider this time and remote learning as though it is a normal type of educational experience – in my mind this is just a “band-aid” in place to keep things together for now, and should this continue into a new school year “surgery” will have to take place if we are going to truly and authentically conduct teaching and learning online. Does that make sense? Or has my 12th hour online today finally gotten to me??

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks Christina for giving us a little insight into how your days are looking. I knew a lot about seesaw before but it just great to see how this tool is really helping a lot of people especially in elementary (seems to be a lifesaver). I love that you haven taken an opportunity to grow and become an ambassador. You bring out the important point that there is there still a digital divide and some students don’t have access. We really got to figure out how to level the playing field and get people equal opportunities. I loved the snapshot of your lesson plan.Lots of cool learning going on. I want to be in your class.

    Like

  6. Christina, it sounds like we have a lot in common. I too am using SeeSaw and am not seeing the participation that I would like. I’ve got about 8 families regularly completing the activities. I do know that I few more are logging in and watching the videos and stories, but not posting the completed tasks. Access to technology is an issue with my families too. I’ve started posting videos on YouTube as it seems many can access that through their phones and are already familiar with that as opposed to being overwhelmed by learning SeeSaw. I have never used SeeSaw before so it’s been a learning curve for me. Looks like you have a lot of great things happening with yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It looks like you are doing a fantastic job connecting with your students. I know that the digital divide is still a major concern, especially with supplemental learning. With your exploration into Seesaw have you had the opportunity to explore some of the other features such as the skills? Seesaw offers many great ways to connect with kids and to track their learning.

    I don’t know if we have the answers, as I think this is a difficult question. Your post makes me wonder. If things continue in the fall how can we bridge this digital divide as teachers to help support students who don’t have access to devices, and thus are not receiving the educational opportunities that others are receiving?

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    1. Curtis, Thanks for your comment. It gives me a lot of anxiety to even think about this continuing into the fall. The divide will be even greater. Our school board had some devices to give out recently. I had a few students I wanted to get these too but haven’t got a hold of them. I have even gone to their homes and not been able to find them. This type of learning simply won’t work for many families for a variety of reasons. I have taken paper work to many of these families so they have some learning to do and keep up with.
      As for the skills section or blog section of Seesaw I have not used it yet. I am not assessing students. I know about the skills section and would like to try it out in the fall within the classroom as it seems like a very cool feature. The blog section I am waiting for approval from our board. I have heard great things from teachers around the world using this feature!
      Thank you!

      Like

  8. Christina,

    Your post had me nodding and smiling and agreeing the entire time! Your honestly and reference to feeling busier than before and needing your blue light glasses is my daily routine too. I think your ways of communicating with your students is fantastic and wish I was in your class!

    Thank you for motivation and kind encouragement. We got this!
    Michala

    Like

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