Item

Oral History with an Anonymous Teacher

Media

Title (Dublin Core)

Oral History with an Anonymous Teacher
Anonymous Oral History, 2020/11/16

Description (Dublin Core)

I've chosen to submit this interview, because it captures the raw and real experience of an (almost) brand new teacher. Someone who has recently graduated (May, 2019) and barely dipped their toes into the teaching world. She has had to adapt to not only teaching a subject different than the one she studied for in college, but also navigating the trials of teaching in a pandemic world.

This 40 minute long interview that show cases the emotions and trials that a teacher has to experience. On top of issues like student engagement, and teaching unfamiliar material she has to ensure that she's accounting for all her students attending, both the ones physically and online, while juggling asynchronous and synchronous classes. One particular poignant quote "It's not that I'm trying to relax and be happy or anything. It's just trying to find downtime to just have energy" really sums up the energy of how the year has gone for this new teacher.

This perspective is important, as it shows the reality of how strenuous the pandemic education scene has been for educators, and the problems it's creating for students, as this person discusses. The pitfalls of technology that are harming rather than helping, and causing issues that might reverberate in the futures of the student's academic careers.

Recording Date (Dublin Core)

Contributor (Dublin Core)

Event Identifier (Dublin Core)

Partner (Dublin Core)

Type (Dublin Core)

Audio Interview/ Transcript

Controlled Vocabulary (Dublin Core)

Curator's Tags (Omeka Classic)

Contributor's Tags (a true folksonomy) (Friend of a Friend)

Collection (Dublin Core)

English

Date Submitted (Dublin Core)

11/16/20

Date Modified (Dublin Core)

11/17/20
11/22/20
11/23/2020
1/31/2021

Interviewer (Bibliographic Ontology)

Mikel Baxter

Interviewee (Bibliographic Ontology)

Anonymous

Format (Dublin Core)

mp3

Language (Dublin Core)

English

Duration (Omeka Classic)

40:01

Transcription (Omeka Classic)

Mikel Baxter 0:00
Alright, so we are now recording. Um, you've asked that you remain anonymous.
But I would still I was wondering if you'd still give us a little background about your occupation and for
the context of the interview.
Anonymous Speaker 0:20
Currently, I'm currently a science teacher
went to college to study history to become a history teacher.
Just been working really hard to educate myself, so I can educate kids.
Mikel Baxter 0:39
And when did you graduate?
Um, may 2019. And then you started teaching the fall semester? That August Yeah. Okay. Um, do you
want to give us your age? Or?Or not?
Anonymous Speaker 0:58
26. Okay.
Mikel Baxter 1:00
Um, when you were in school, What were your classes? Like? Did you take classes online in person? Or
did you do a mix?
Anonymous Speaker 1:09
I did a mix. Sometimes.
Sometimes, I've even done like, all online for some semesters, there was one semester. I think that was
the semester. Yeah, that semester, and that you were in, five classes in a row on those single days, just
so that I didn't have to commute, Yeah.
Mikel Baxter 1:32
And so what did you prefer? Did you prefer in person or did you prefer online?
Anonymous Speaker 1:41
I definitely prefer online It also depends on the professor because I had one professor where,
I mean, he had a lot of good information. And I loved listening most of the time, but
a lot of the time he put me asleep, so but you know, all of his work was online.
That you know, so I get it, I did all my reading, did all my assignments online. For him.
but I prefer mostly being in person.
Mikel Baxter 2:16
Okay. So,um, so let's So did you ever have like a semester, where you took them mostly in person, and
then you switch to mostly online?
Anonymous Speaker 2:29
Yeah.
Mikel Baxter 2:30
Okay. So between those two semesters, what was the hardest change, like going from in person?
Anonymous Speaker 2:38
To online?
Mikel Baxter 2:39
Yeah,
Anonymous Speaker 2:40
losing the instruction. I like to be... I like to listen, and watch a person. Um, that instruction is how I
learned this, reading it on my own, I get bored, I get distracted.
I lose some of the content.
In being online.
Typically, in college, it, it's more work than going to class.
Mikel Baxter 3:11
Right? So you took your classes pre pandemic, and you, you have an idea of what it's like to take classes
in line in, and in person and now teach online and in person. So what do you think is the biggest
challenge? What is, what are some of the biggest challenges teaching and like, the biggest I'm sorry, the
biggest changes from teaching in person to teaching online.
Anonymous Speaker 3:40
Um, teaching in person, one of the things that changed this year is
"Little Timmy you need to put your mask on."
And then starting to teach online, I have to learn how to do it, I have to learn how to convert my
assignments.
Um, some of my assignments that I give to kids are PDFs. And they don't know how to edit PDFs. And
the district uses a certain tool for them to do that. But they've never had the training on how to do that.
And so I'm answering a million question..not a million but yeah, I'm over exaggerating. I'm answering a
ton of questions about how do I do this? Or how do I share this, I just had a student email me. I said,
Okay, I'm gonna copy and paste this link. He wasn't paying attention. And I said, I'm gonna copy and
paste this link. And they're using Chromebooks, which I don't know how to use. So I copied it and I tried
to paste it in the email to myself, so I would have an assignment. He didn't hear me and he sent the
email and it was empty. And a lot of my assignments that I get back from the kids are empty.
Mikel Baxter 5:00
Go ahead
Anonymous Speaker 5:01
the kids just don't do them. Or they don't know how to do them or whatever the case may be.
Mikel Baxter 5:07
So you're playing the role of learner because you're only about a year into teaching.
Anonymous Speaker 5:15
Yeah.
Mikel Baxter 5:15
Playing the role of teacher. And then you're also tech support for these for these kids.
[laugh]
Anonymous Speaker 5:22
Yes. Yes. Yes. And I can only answer so many tech questions. Sometimes they ask me a question. And
I'm like "guys, I just work here. Go ask somebody who knows, I don't know," I'm learning this stuff, just
like you are. I wish we had the answers. And then I say as soon as you find out tell me so I can answer.
Yeah.
Mikel Baxter 5:46
So..So you teach online in addition to teaching in person, and then do you spend a lot of time on like,
social media and for those purposes we'll include Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, tik tok, um..
Anonymous Speaker 6:07
Is that for personal or for professional use?
Mikel Baxter 6:09
For personal, or I mean mean both.
Anonymous Speaker 6:11
Okay. Oh, for professional, I don't use it at all.
Because I tell I'll tell the kids, you are not allowed to add me as a friend until you're graduated from high
school. And some of the parents do add me and I have...Oh, I'm not going to go into that story. But um,
so yes, I have a Facebook I have an Instagram. I have a Snapchat. A Pinterest, of course. But I have those
three for personal use.For professional Not at all.
Mikel Baxter 6:48
And then do you watch a lot of streaming? Do you watch any streaming services like Netflix or Disney
plus or YouTube?
Anonymous Speaker 6:56
Netflix Disney plus YouTube
Amazon Prime? What else?
Um, Apple TV, YouTube.
Pluto TV? Yeah, I have I use a lot of the streaming services.
Mikel Baxter 7:16
So since you're on social ...since you use social media, and, and then you're teaching online, and I
imagine you're doing a lot of recording or research or reading PDFs when they do get filled out or
grading documents. So do you feel like there's a...
it's called like tech fatigue? Or just tech tiredness? Do you? Do you feel like it's an overwhelming amount
of use of technology?
Anonymous Speaker 7:48
Yeah, um,...
the streaming services are my saving grace, because they take me to another world. So when I get off
work, and I come home, and I'm ready to relax, I'll watch
TV or a movie or whatever it is. Facebook, I'm getting tired of Facebook, Snapchat, I'm getting a little
tired of Snapchat,
email, I'm.. I'm done with emails, and
I'm so tired of them. The, heh, The biggest thing that really is a major frustration with teaching online,
right now in technology is opening up an assignment.
And some of them have been turned in, but all they're doing is hitting the turnin button and not trying
it. And then I just want to
I can't take a week, I can't take a day off of lessons to teach them how to use it and to teach them how
to do it. And I've actually done that in the beginning. But they don't know some kids didn't get that. So
it's it's mostly the thing that really bothers me. Yeah, I'm what I'm so tired of is my work computer, I
stopped bringing it home at all.
And I still get notifications for my work email.
And I ignore those still, until I can't. And I notice how many there are and then I go through them.
On the weekends during the week. I'm always on my work email. Could be eight o'clock at night.
Mikel Baxter 9:28
Oh, wow.
Anonymous Speaker 9:29
Yeah.
Mikel Baxter 9:30
So do you...
In the kids, do you see any sign of tech fatigue? Because I'm sure. I mean, you're teaching the generation
that's grown up, not knowing what it's like to live life without the internet. So they can get cell phones
as young as 10.
But do you.. so now they're they're learning online and then they're spending a lot of time scrolling
through their social media, or whatever, which is fine. But do you
Do you notice like a, an adverse effect on it? Like, is it affecting their eyes? is it affecting them physically
or mentally? Or do you notice anything at all? There's no real right answer, but just do you notice.
Anonymous Speaker 10:13
Um, okay. So I notice, because I'm me, I'm observant. And I know that, you know, the blue light and the
constant gratification, instant gratification of having your phone and your Chromebook. So I know the
effect it has on on a person, so I see them.
But
they are happy to have Chromebooks. They're so happy to have Chromebooks. But they're not happy to
do their work on their Chromebooks.
So I see the effect in their personality, I see the effect in their behavior. And all that just because I know
what I'm looking for. with them. And I'm passionate about
them not having technology, which is kind of counterintuitive to the whole moving forward in the
education system with the whole technology business. But actually, the technology does not help as
much as you would think. Yes, they need to learn how to use it. But that's why we have computer
classes. Yeah. So I think that the technology is actually hindering their education. And it's, it's not
helping. But yeah, but basically, to answer your question, yeah, I see it because I know what I'm looking
for. I know that the eyes get tired after the blue light, I know that there's some good, like the sunken
eyes or the puffy eyes because I'm not getting any sleep, or I'm not able to sleep because the blue light
too late at night. And they can't remember anything, because all they have is Google it. You know? And
so when it comes to assessment time, they can't remember the answers.
Mikel Baxter 12:10
Okay.
So what has been your biggest challenge? learning how to teach online? Do you teach
online? And I mean,
do you teach all online? Well, no, you said you teach in person. So I guess you teach a mix of both? Um,
for your online, and I guess in person, what has been your biggest challenge this semester? And how
have you overcome it? or How are you overcoming it?
Anonymous Speaker 12:43
My biggest challenge with teaching this semester, I do have in class, I have kids that are called
asynchronous and kids that are called synchronous, synchronous means they join in on a zoom call,
async, they do everything on Google Classroom. So with the synchronous kids, that list is diminishing, for
me, particularly. Because there were a lot of kids came back. But with the synchronous at the beginning,
it was so difficult. I had to set it up, that was fine. figure that out. But then once I started to do the zoom
goals in classroom, I didn't get I was one of the only teachers that there was a few of us, but I was one of
the only teachers that didn't get a synchronous period, which means I had kids in person and online, and
I had to try to figure out the attendance for all of them. And it took it took, um, we have took maybe
2030 minutes in the first week, and then it started taking 20 minutes because I have to look through all
the people I had to do all this any other. And then finally I kind of just put your names in the chat if I
don't see him later, you're not here. Because you're not listening to me, you know. So that was difficult.
Another thing was trying to figure out how to upload assignments. I had a lot of struggles with because
we have a there's one of my favorite tools is Ed puzzle, a puzzle. We'll take a YouTube video and let you
insert questions into it. So I'll show it as a full group class thing. And let all the kids tell me what the
answer is. So it's basically are you paying attention? Are you learning this? check for understanding type
of thing. I loved it and I love it still. And then I tried to upload it to google classroom and I don't know
how it goes wrong. What goes wrong? And it's been a struggle it was it was a full solid week where I was
ready guys. corrected the issue? Stop asking me this question. But it's how to upload assignments, how
to check their assignments. Wow, it is a difficult thing I finally figured out with my drive that I could get
that way. But and also my district wants us to do all kinds of different platforms and juggling everything.
That's it's a big deal. I'm juggling in class and going online synchronous, multiple platforms, grading
assignments, uploading assignments, taking attendance.
Yeah,
Mikel Baxter 15:38
it sounds like a lot. I mean, you're saying things that even I never considered. But, uh, I mean, you have
to do it in person, and then online, and then figure out how to mesh the two and still teach the kids?
Anonymous Speaker 15:55
Yes. Yes. And the kids are not, the kids that are online, are not learning. Some of them are doing the
assignments, and they're going above and beyond. But I have more than three kids that aren't. I have
the three kids that are doing work. And then the rest of them are not.
Mikel Baxter 16:19
So for, for context, how, how big are your classes? How many kids do you teach? In all of your classes
told?
Anonymous Speaker 16:27
Well, in, in class kids, my biggest in class group is like 20, either either somewhere online, or it's 25, not
27. I think it's 25. It was like 27. But I think now it's 25. But some of those, some of that group is online,
and some of them just don't show up on any given day, it could be one or two, just either they got a
dentist's appointment, or they're going on a trip or whatever the case may be. That's my biggest class.
Typically, it's around 10 to 15. In class, those kids are learning because they get to hear it straight from
my straight from my mouth, I get to hear some of the little jokes I tell. So that makes it easier. Like when
we did density and calculating density. I saw one kid I told them two different ways I taught them. I
taught them I heart density and the density triangle. And one kid came up to me and he's like, I don't
know how to do this. I said, Yeah, you do. We've learned it all week. And I said, What about your
triangle? Use your triangle? And he did. The triangle didn't stick with him. And so I said, Do you heart
density? And he was like, Oh, I drawed a heart but and break it. And this that and the other like, yeah,
that's how you do it. And so, so he was able to remember it that way, my kids online. I looked through
all of their density work. And I mean, there was a density quiz that I couldn't take for a grade. But then I
looked online, and I was like, I most definitely cannot take this for a grade because it was not a
successful assignment. They didn't learn. Without when I uploaded extra support videos that the kids in
class didn't get. I found a few instructional videos on YouTube, that were actually really good videos, but
I doubt they've watched them just because I looked at their math and it wasn't correct. And that's
coming. That's a lot coming from me. Yeah, come for me. Yeah. So it's the I got kids in line, who are
there kids in class who are struggling? They don't care. Some of them really just don't care. I've asked
one of them. I said, Are you okay? Okay, with the grade you get? Because I have asked you now five
times to start your assignment, I have also provided help for you. I don't care. I was like, I'm, so you're
going to be accepting the zero? And she was like, Yeah, I don't care.
Mikel Baxter 19:02
And you think that's just absurd. And I just, do you think that just the kid being a kid, or is it a product of,
of perhaps the district you're in? Or do you think it's related to pandemic induced stress?
Anonymous Speaker 19:18
I mean, three, I think it's all three. Combined, it was her, just some of those kids being themselves. The
particular district that I'm in, and, and COVID just everything every list left and right. There's something
new, something's happening and they're all kind of just tired of it. It's a joke to them. It's really just they
don't understand it. They don't understand why this is such a problem. And if somebody says something,
and use uses COVID as a as an excuse, they just laugh. They think it's a joke. The main problem I'm
struggling with is my online learners. They're not If this isn't helping them, right?
Mikel Baxter 20:09
So how, how are you going to adapt your classes? If this is what it's going to be like in the future? Like, if
we don't get a vaccine, let's say, until a year from now, right? So you're, so how are you going to adapt
to teaching?
Anonymous Speaker 20:30
Right? Um, well, my online or my district recently voted to stop online learning. So hopefully, when I go
in Monday, almost everybody will get back, except for the kids that were recently exposed last week, so
those kids will still be in quarantine, and probably be in quarantine, into Thanksgiving break. So going
forward, if this is a problem, I don't think we're going to offer a consistent asynchronous anymore, I'm,
honestly I'm crossing my fingers that we don't, but only do a synchronous, if a kid is quarantined. With
that. I'm rolling forward in the future, I'm hoping that, you know, they start off with me, or they have
some time with me. So they know what to expect, right. And that way, when I go online, and I can email
them I mean, problem, or my main concern, with this being a potential new, real or reality that I will, I
will lose so much time with those kids, and they won't get that back. And if this is the new normal, you
know, if this is the new normal, their kids are going to struggle even more than they happen. And I really
don't want that to happen. I need to I'm hoping that maybe over the summer, there will be some new
PD or professional development for you know, teaching online for COVID. And, you know, all that stuff.
I'm hoping that I can gain some new insight on how to do this online. Because I'm sitting here thinking
How on earth did our college professors, grade our papers, and put assignments up online, and I'm
wondering if they just kind of slapped a grade, because that's a lot more work than what I'm doing right
now. And this is already, this is already, you know, bouts of break my back. So I'm honestly right now,
with going forward, I'm hoping that I can learn more to make it better, because at this point, I don't have
answers,
Mikel Baxter 23:03
right, you're kind of just flying by the seat of your pants.
Anonymous Speaker 23:06
I'm trying to make it um, and and I've gotten to the point where everything I get, I get what I need done.
I try to help where I can. I've even done zoom. Or I've set up a zoom meeting recurring zoom meeting
every day. For tutorials, not every day, every Thursday for tutorials for my online learners, and I've
posted it in in Google Classroom posted in remind. And so far, nothing, nobody showed up.
Mikel Baxter 23:36
So it's kind of like office hours, they can come talk to you or say hey, Miss, ma'am, how do I do this?
Anonymous Speaker 23:45
Yes.
Mikel Baxter 23:51
All right, these last couple questions will will light it up a little bit, because that was I mean, that's
concerning stuff that I never really considered.
Anonymous Speaker 24:01
Right.
Mikel Baxter 24:02
I mean, they're, they're losing semesters, in some cases of foundational knowledge and that's, that's
rough.
Anonymous Speaker 24:12
Absolutely, um, they're losing months, months at a time of knowledge that they could have that they're
not going to be able to build on in future years. Honestly, what I teach what I teach is the foundation for
the rest of their education and if they don't have that foundation, or at least some inkling or have a
thought or a reminder of that foundation, they are going to struggle for the rest of their schooling. The
kids is a main file or main concern with this but the teachers to like the teachers I've heard stories so
many teachers are leaving. So many teachers are either early retiring, or doing something else trying
their hardest to make ends meet. So it's mostly the teachers who are who really, really, really care and
really want to stick through this. And there's teachers who really, really, really care that just can't do it
just can't just can't make this work. But the teachers care, and that's why we're still here. You know,
there's no incentive other than the success of the kids and the kids, man, some of them come back, and
I asked them a question. And then I have to remember Oh, wait, you were online, and you didn't do
your work? Yes, ma'am. That's right. Okay, well, let's see what we can do about that. And then I, you
know, find a solution, and they don't end up doing it. It's, it's, um, it's not, it's not looking to write But
for us, but we try to look positive. And we, you know, as long as we're there, and we're stable for the
kids, they're happy.
Mikel Baxter 26:09
It's definitely probably what you did not what you had in mind after you graduated last year.
Anonymous Speaker 26:15
Oh my God, No.
if I'd have been at my pinning ceremony, and they would have told me, okay, there's going to be a
pandemic, your schools that you are going to be hired at are going to shut down. And then you're going
to do online teaching, but you all have to wear masks, and sanitize everything. lol hours of the day, I
would have said, Excuse me, can I get a refund? Please? I'd like to do something else. No, I love the kids,
though. But this is...urgh, I was not prepared. Nobody was prepared for this.
Mikel Baxter 26:49
No, I mean, I mean, your first full year of teaching, and it's just been absolute chaos.
Anonymous Speaker 26:56
Yeah, last year was my first year but it wasn't even here. We shut down. Spring Break, we got out we we
left for spring break. And we didn't come back. And this is going to be potentially my first full year. But
who knows if enough people in my in my school have enough? Or if there's enough people with cases
positive cases, we might have to shut down? And then what are we going to do? We can't I was listening
to a person. She was telling me how over the shutdown, there was a law case or a lawsuit or something
came up with a woman who had something in her background. And it was a problem. And I'm like, Yeah,
but we were doing this from home. We're trying to make this work. But so basically, is we're probably
not going to be allowed to teach from home. If we are quarantine so then that will add you know,
further on to our year. And then how much are you gonna go? So we have a lot more questions than
answers, but we go in every morning. Coffee in hand.
Mikel Baxter 28:07
So...So how do you..it's, it's really hard to go back to my set of questions, but we'll try we'll we'll wrap it
up. But yeah, after a long day of teaching after, you know, the weekend comes around, how do you
relax? How do you go? Okay, pandemic not thinking about that. teaching? Definitely not thinking about
that.
Anonymous Speaker 28:33
Okay, so problem is faced here. Is that the? I don't know I? I think I was either talking to you or my mom
about the self care culture. Being toxic to teachers. Was it talking toyou?
Mikel Baxter 28:50
Not me, No.
Anonymous Speaker 28:52
Okay, um, so I was reading something and I've kind of been dwelling on it you know how I dwell and I
kind of think about things for a while until you know, I'm done and I move on to another thing but kind
of dwelling on this about how self care is toxic or this culture of self care being the answer to your
stressful job is toxic to teachers because especially now there's far more stress. And in you're putting
more stress on the teacher to say, hey, you need to relax find something that relax you well. Okay, so
now I have to find something that's relaxing. Well, okay, what am I gonna do now that's even more
stress and it's toxic when really the problem is that we were just so stressed out, which I understand
other other professions have a high stress rate, but, man, this is one thing if I knew what I don't know.
I'm probably would have, I don't know. Definitely going into librarian Getting a Master's, a librarian or
something, but, um, so to relax, try to relax. Um, I come home, I play with my dogs a little bit, make
some food, whether it's case so or pasta or chicken or, you know, whatever a box or some chili Mac, I
don't know, whatever I have enough energy to make that night. Um, I'll eat that watch some TV. I don't
know if this is allowed, but have a drink. And you know, in the interview...
Mikel Baxter 30:37
You're an adult.
Anonymous Speaker 30:37
I am an adult I am. I certainly am. I'm Have a drink until it's ready, it's time to go to bed. Now I have to
go to bed earlier because I've moved further away from my district. So I have maybe three hours, once I
finally get home to relax is three hours, three hours of relaxing and so that you can get enough sleep in
to make it the next day. And then the weekend. I try to piddle around the house, you know, do
something to make myself feel productive. But then, like last Sunday, I didn't leave the couch until I
necessarily had to. I I stayed on the couch I laid down. That was it. I was so tired.
Mikel Baxter 31:24
Became one with the couch.
Anonymous Speaker 31:26
I'm on the couch. We're you know, identical. [laughs] But yeah, um, so trying to relax is not really a
thing. It's for me, it's trying to find rest. So there's no, it's not. It's not that I'm trying to relax and be
happy or anything. It's just trying to find downtime to just have energy. Because last last week, Friday, I
was like, I gotta find energy somewhere because I cannot do this next week. Next week is a week before
the break. It's gonna be crazy. We got kids coming back. No, no, no. So last week, I ended the week in a
very, very bad way. But I'm hoping I had enough energy or have enough energy now. We will see.
Mikel Baxter 32:19
And see that's really impactful what you say that you're not even finding time to relax you're... Because
that implies that you're doing something fun. Something that you enjoy. You're finding time to rest. I
mean, that's, that is wow.
Anonymous Speaker 32:35
Yes. Well, it's right to brighten my day to day and I bought a bouquet of five sunflowers.
Mikel Baxter 32:42
Aww
Anonymous Speaker 32:43
so I tried to I tried to think, Okay, what is going to brighten my day when I get off of work? So I did that.
And so for this week, I'll have some some flowers to look at. But yeah, yeah, it's, um, I, my dad told me
Get over it. Get over it. You're doing a job. And I was like, Yeah, I am doing a job. But I, I'm not really
liking where I'm sitting right now. But it is a stressful time learning new things is always stressful. And
that's something we talked about in professional development that this year is everybody's first year
teaching again, because we're learning so much. We're trying, trying to run around. Learn all kinds of
news, new ways of teaching, new. I mean, and teaching isn't either the only job we have, how to how to
track data, how to get the kids to track their own data, how to teach the kids how to use the things
online, sit in the meetings, but also, meetings have not been productive this year. I don't know why we
have them, but you have them for some reason. Um, but yeah, it's, you know, take attendance, we had
to find and learn a completely new way to take attendance, completely new way. And then it kept
changing. And first, I don't know, the first month it kept changing to try to find a better system. And now
we're at a better system. But I mean, I have to take attendance every day, seven times a day. And I have
to take it online on paper. Yeah, so yeah, no, yeah. Just finding time to rest is the most important thing
right now.
Mikel Baxter 34:24
If you could take your skills you learned from taking your own online courses, and turn it into advice for
kids. What would you tell them about taking online classes?
Anonymous Speaker 34:45
Well, one thing I learned taking online classes was how to find the answer myself. And so that's what
I've kind of been doing in the last week. Actually last week or two weeks was the Question for me about
an assignment. I say find it, you find it, you tell me. Of course I'm there to, you know, correct any
misunderstandings. But the last two weeks I've really kind of gotten fed up with holding their hands
every step of the way, I've got kids every single question that come and ask to make sure it's correct.
That's not how this works. You need to find it, and you need to find the confidence in yourself to know
that you're doing this, right. So that's something that I'm trying to do that I had to learn. You know, cuz
doing school online was so different than going. I mean, yeah, I did credit recovery in high school
because I was a terrible student in high school. So I did do online schooling in high school, basically. But
going into college was completely different. The structure was different. I miss Blackboard, I miss
Blackboard so much. Um, but for them, the main thing that I want them to do is learn, especially if
they're at home, and that they can't get my instruction. Because some of them don't want to do
synchronous. They don't want to join in all the zoom calls. They don't want to wake up before four
o'clock in the afternoon. I don't know. I don't know. But I'm for them. My main focus right now is learn
how to find your answer. Learn how to teach yourself, because clearly what we're doing, or what you're
doing right now, because I upload enough, I think I upload enough to teach them. And I've asked other
people, Is this enough? And I say, yeah, this is enough. Um, clearly, it's not working for them. So I want
them and I want them to be able to answer their own questions. And if they have a thought, or they
need to find an answer, whether it's about their own personal beliefs, their own thoughts, you know,
how to make how to make mac and cheese from scratch, I've All I've got is some noodles here and some
milk and some cheese, how do I make mac and cheese from this? Well go find it, you'll find it. You know,
it's a survival thing. And I want them to be able to do that. And that's something that I've been trying to
work on more this year than I did last year. So that's one thing that I'm I honestly can't remember the
question, but I think because I ramble on, sorry. I ramble. Um, you know, answering their own
questions. Yeah, is something that I want focus on.
Mikel Baxter 37:43
Right? Well, you've given me more than enough of your time. And a lot of insight, and I want to say
thank you, for letting me speak with you. And thank you for contributing to this archive, because I feel
like it's a it's a, it's a unique perspective that you bring having been a student, you know, not that long
ago yourself, and then turning around and teaching in this. You know, before it was like, Okay, I'm
choosing to take online classes. And now it's like, No, you have to take online classes.
Anonymous Speaker 38:23
Yes, you have to do everything online. Oh, I tell the kids all the time I miss research, I miss doing
research papers, I miss writing, I miss, you know, spending 36 hours to find two quotes that I could use
in my 16 days paper. I missed that. And they're like ewww. you might think this is funny. One of them
are not what one group, one class period said. Or no, they just came in all wild and crazy. And I said, No,
we're not doing that today. You're not going to do that. You're going to come in quietly as you do every
day. And if you do not, I'm going to expect essays from each and every one of you. And you better
believe that I expect college level and not MLA either. MLA is easy. I want Chicago.
Mikel Baxter 39:14
Oh my god, Chicago. That's just cruel.
Anonymous Speaker 39:19
Like what Chicago?
Mikel Baxter 39:19
Oh, Winter is coming you poor sweet summer children. Right.
Anonymous Speaker 39:25
So they just police themselves, they're like I don't wanna write essays, and I was like good, I scared them
enough. Yeah, that was I get some jokes in
Mikel Baxter 39:38
I'm glad we could end on a happier and happier.
Anonymous Speaker 39:42
Yes, absolutely.
Mikel Baxter 39:44
But thank you again, and we appreciate your contribution to the archive.
Anonymous Speaker 39:51
Absolutely.
Mikel Baxter 39:52
And I will talk to you
Anonymous Speaker 39:55
later. Okay.
Mikel Baxter 39:57
Thank you. Thank you.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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This item was submitted on November 16, 2020 by Mikel Baxter using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”: https://covid-19archive.org/s/archive

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