Per / Con / In / Re – form

I am wrestling with my thoughts again. In other words, I am restless again. When this happens many questions appear soon thereafter. Is there anyone out there that feels restless too?

I can’t be the only one in questioning a lot of things right now because most days I feel like a busker at a street festival trying to juggle a bowling ball(technology), a chainsaw(lessons), and a fishtank(learners). Nothing to see here other than a fairly confident educator having a tough time with something that he’s done before – delivering lessons.

So why am I struggling to deliver my lessons? It seems like a good place to start. Right now, I am questioning everything about my professional practice, and it feels like running along a path and tripping over an imaginary object. My week long tumbles are not so much about the content I am teaching, but rather how it is being taught, how it is being received, and how it can be assessed. It is leaving me limping into the weekend? Tell me I am not alone right now.

And then it hits. How long until the realization that some of my students are not completely engaging with learning right now even though their eyes and emotionless emoticons tell me otherwise? After extended times staring at screens and thumbnail sized student/profile memes I can tell my students are becoming exhausted too despite the brave faces that I see popping up on occasion when called upon. Is this happening to anyone else teaching right now? Are your students tired too? I am. 

Why am I so tired right now? Shouldn’t getting an extra hour of sleep each night, drinking 2+ litres of water per day, reduced caffeine, reduced personal device time, reading more books, and getting more exercise than in years past be helping me out here? I have even added Tai Chi, Yoga, and Hip Hop Dance to our DPA to increase movement during class time. To top it all off, I take daily walks whether I feel like it or not. 

You see, I force myself to take a walk after each of my hyper-telepresent virtual teaching sessions. Once the goodbyes are done, it is pretty much all I can do to get out of my chair, climb the stairs, and get geared up to go out most days. Especially, when I have to pass by a very comfortable couch whose cushions scream, “Remember us?” It is very tempting, but something even better calls, my daily walks.

Regardless of the weather, these walks are my motivational carrots to keep taking the steps that get me through the many muddy moments along each day’s unpaved path. Knowing that no matter how the day goes, a walk awaits has been all it takes to see me through. Whether a lesson went well or died on the screen in front of me ceases to matter when I inhale that first breath of fresh outdoor air. The exhale feels pretty good too. 

You watch enough TV, and very soon the inside of your head has become a vast, arid plain, across which you cannot detect the passage of a thought. Harlan Ellison

So far this year, I have only missed one day of walking. In hindsight it was probably the day that I needed a it most. Instead, I ended up planted on that inviting couch with a bowl of Smartfood staring at our television. Tuned out. Achy. Sullen. Grumpy. Numb. These feelings got me thinking about screens. 

Sci-fi author Harlan Ellison referred to TV as the “glass teat”. He even wrote a couple of books about it. I see parallels to how education is being delivered right now. We need to wean our students off of their screens more and more in order to preserve their minds from numbing and tuning out. 

Somewhere along my way outside a struggle ensued about the work I am doing in front of my screen. Is it serving to numb our students over extended periods of time? Will these extended periods of online learning cause irreparable tears in our socio-academic fabric? I am not ready to believe that this is the beginning of the end for in person school and that we are heading for our isolation pods as told in E.M Forster’s The Machine Stops

We cannot continue feeding content from one glass plate after another and expecting students to grow up smart and healthy. A dear friend suggested that cutting the learning day back to 4 days might be a good idea. Allowing the 5th day for asynchronous activities such as self-directed inquiry and catching up on assignments during the day rather than in the evenings when fatigue sets in. Teachers could easily use that time for office hours, for one on one/small group support, and conferencing. Everyone wins. 

Yet to form
This is much more than having the tools to master a domain that has yet to be tamed? Virtual learning means we are virtually learning how to do this while we teach? I can tell you there are few system leaders or consultants that have as much experience as any teachers in this medium, and it has largely been gained through self-teaching and experimentation with their classes.

I worry that too much emphasis has been placed on performance and conformity without serious consideration to being fully informed of the true social, emotional, and physical costs of virtual learning. Teachers, students, and families are feeling the stress from this and without an alternative I fear that there will be problems far greater than being behind on assignments or failing a test.

There is a definite need to refine and reform how we are being asked to serve and support our students. I’d love to take a walk around the neighbourhood with those making decisions on our behalf, share some ideas, listen to one another, breath in some fresh air, and take the steps that would best support students and staff -from a safe distance of course. Maybe if we took away their screens everyone might be able to see eye to eye here about helping to change things for the better, our students. 

In the meantime, I think another walk is in order. 



Hindsight is…

Please don’t make me finish the title until the last second has ticked off the clock. I may have developed a defensive outlook about this trip around the sun. While I know this Gregorian Calender measurement of time will soon be in the rearview mirror of our lives, it is still a battle avoiding the queasiness and wincing that come when I think about all we have been through in 2020. Can resolutions be far behind?

Dang! I just wrote 2020

My understanding, perhaps acceptance, of this year is coming into clearer focus. It has been an extraordinary year on so many levels, and thus a great opportunity for personal growth. It has also been an educational year because, dang, I learnt a lot. 

Dang! I just wrote ‘dang’ again. 

I also taught a lot, and despite it feeling like a roller coaster ride from hell along the way, it meant that there were many lessons for me as an educator in 2020 too. Which made me happy to find this quote below after thinking I made it up myself. 

“If you are not learning, then you are not teaching.” Vernon L Smith*

A wise and gentle reminder that there was always something new to learn about ourselves, the students we teach, and the world around us during periods of unexpected loss, labour strife, professional uncertainty, and a global crisis. Smith’s words echoing loudly as I type. Here’s my version of it à la René Descartes. 

I learn, therefore I am a teacher.

So here is what I learnt from hindsight/2020:

  1. Take time to grieve and offer comfort first when students/families are hurting. The lessons can wait. It hurts to lose a student to senseless violence. Our school felt this very deeply last January
  2. Sometimes governments do not have the best interests of the population in their actions. Standing up to malfeasance and legislated tyranny is the right and a responsibility of all educators. 
  3. Mental health matters more than marks. Students/educators who struggle will not miraculously get better after a call to a helpline or a conversation with a social worker/psychologist. It is a process that takes time and patience before progress. I learned that there is much more to learn in this area to better support students, colleagues, and myself. 
    Remember that no matter how many times people tell you to take care of yourself first, there have to be reasonable boundaries and supports to make that happen. An encouraging message from admin, a Board Director’s email blast, or the Minister of Ed is not going to suffice. Set your boundaries. Do what you can do within them. Take time to be still. The work can and will wait. 
  4. Equity in schools needs to go way beyond a single day in the classroom, Orange/Pink/Purple shirt days are great starting points, but most not become performative events, but rather actionable beginnings to build on everyday in classrooms. There are so many amazing inclusion and equity resources being shared via school boards and social media for educators committed to allyship and activism in areas of Truth and Reconciliation, anti-black racism, LGBTQ2+, and culturally responsive relevant pedagogy. I learned that words in a classroom mean very little if they are not accompanied by opportunities to critically engage learners to become agents of change. 
  5. I learned not all educators are ready to confront their privilege and unearned advantage. I also learned that acknowledging my own privilege comes with the responsibility to examine my pedagogy and practice. It is a chance to unlearn, learn, and then teach. 
  6. If you are going to move into emergency distance learning within a short period of time, take it slow and make sure you have an ergonomic work space for those extended hours of screen time ahead. I learned that not all students have the same amounts of available space or bandwidth required for virtual school. I also had to accept that some students checked out the moment learning became asynchronous. 
  7. Rethink, question, iterate, bend, blend, and break everything you have done in the past to teach. Say goodbye to “we’ve always done it this way thinking”. Reimagine your reading lists, your math instruction, your use of worksheets, your classroom management, and your assessment approaches. This will not be easy, but it will be worth it. Embrace the discomfort. Learn from it, and then teach forward knowing 2020 taught us all so much. 

Thank you for a wonderful year at the speed of education. Please feel free to add what 2020 taught you in the comments below. Cheers to you all, and to a safe trip around the sun in 2021. 

*  There is comfort in the knowledge that the quote above is attributed to a Nobel Prize winning thinker because before checking, I thought the words above were mined straight out of my mind. Needless to say, I am happy to share a common thought in esteemed company. Searching out the source of the quote also allowed me to discover some of Smith’s other vast body of work in economics.


2020 – the roller coaster no one in education asked to ride

Please secure any loose items and keep your hands inside the car at all times.
Do not exit the ride until it comes to a full and complete stop.

Most of the time the exhilaration of a fast fun paced ride, filled with brief mind boggling G-forces, would come next. At an amusement park perhaps, but it is 2020 after all, and this ain’t your average roller coaster of a year. From the get go, it was destined to be different as it was determined to distinguish itself from the decades of other “normal” years before it. To add even more gravity to the moment, we all had take this ride, and hold on for dear life regardless of height. I want to share what it felt like for me this year.

2020 AsAroLLerCoaSTerInEdUcatIon

Instead of the fun and excitement that might normally have been anticipated, this year felt more like being in a time warped slow motion sequence while being suffocated inside of a dumpster that was on fire and rolling down a steep mountain. WEEEE! quickly gave way to AAAGHH!!!

Everytime I opened the lid of my own flaming dumpster car to look out at 2020, I saw flashes of things to grieve, endure, flee, confront, fix, stretch, and learn from.

It was as if the ride was designed to keep going non-stop and at a nauseating speed while everyone was expected to remain strapped in and trying not to lose what they brought on the ride. At times, it felt like working in a vacuum. My lungs empty of air while my mind and body rush up and over the same structure over and over again.

2020 AsAroLLerCoaSTerInEDucaTIon

A year.
A strike.
A job action.
A global pandemic.
A great deal of uncertainty.
A move to emergency distance learning.
A realization that not everything is equitable.
A lack of direction, support and resources at times.
A realization that things may never be the same again.
A new virtual space to occupy, connect, and teach within.
A nagging concern that students may not be coping with this.
A continuous uncertainty around teaching in September.
A cautious return to the classroom – or virtual school.
A heightened vigilance around masks and sanitizing.
A disruptive reorganization with new schedules.
A newly updated math curriculum added in.
A cough that clears crowded classrooms.
A constant need for mask checks.
A need to maintain distances.
A muting mask and shield.
A gasp for fresh air.
A firm resolve.
A bit of hope.
A new year.
A dream.

As this ride finally runs out of track, I’m thankful to be physically in one piece, but still in need of greater peace of mind over this winter break. Recovering from this ride is going to take time. While figuratively staggering off of this year’s roller coaster, I am already heading back to the line to wait and go again.

Looking back on the past 52 weeks of this ride, I am trying to see how this year shaped my personal practice as an educator. I mean, the 2020 roller coaster possessed all the thrilling twists, stomach churning turns, dizzying highs, and sinking lows which no one could have expected. It came as no surprise then that enjoying the ride, catching my breath, or being able to re-orient myself relative to the world around me would not come easy. Despite it all, I find myself resolved to bend, blend or break what has been my instructional practice in order to do better in 2021.

It is perhaps because of this discombobulation, I have questioned everything that I have ever done as an educator. Stay tuned to see where this goes.

In the meantime expressions of gratitude, encouragement, and optimism to all educators who held on through the tumultuous ride that was education in 2020. You have indeed been the models of grace, resilience, resolve, creativity, persistance, and integrity in our profession. You have been inspirations to me whenever I lifted the lid of my flaming dumpster car to look out and take a breath. I’m looking forward to teaching in 2021 because of y0u.


The cold coffee song

 AKA – A parody on a familiar melody dedicated to teachers who finished as strong, after a tough year, if not stronger than the cold beverages in their cups.

Pt 1 (sung to the chorus of Escape, The Pina Colada Song by Rupert Holmes)

Yes I like drinking cold coffee!
And ignoring my chronic back pain.

I am out of the classroom,
At home by pandemic and fate

It’s really hard to be teaching,
sharing through cold blue screens.

It’s become easy to breakdown,
seeing students struggling each day.

Yup, it’s been rough one folx. We have come so far together and we all know that the journey is just beginning. When we look back to the start of the year in September 2019, no one would have believed that we would only be voting on a contract now. No one would have believed  that we would fund our sub-cost-of-living raises by standing up for our rights on the picket lines for 6 days. And no one would have believed that we would not see our students in real life this year past March Break. Judging by what has transpired already, I am pretty sure that the future will be equally unbelievable.

Without a doubt, we’ve shared many highs and lows in our profession over the past 10 months. We have stood together. We have found ways to make a terrible situation nearly tolerable. We have worked from home in makeshift offices at the peril of our own physical detriment. We are all grieving the loss of milestones (graduations, trips, community, playdays, track, and farewells) for the classes of 2020. Yet, we still came up with innovative ways to honour them.

We have parented through a pandemic, and cared for our parents too. We have watched vulnerable communities further separated from opportunities. We witnessed the inequity that exists in presumptions around access and “emergency distance learning.” In all of this we have maintained the dignity and duty of care everyday. On occasion, we even remembered to look after ourselves.

And even though direction from the elected only spilled out like water from a kinked hose, we knew what to do because we knew our students. So when the messages changed it didn’t matter that they came out at the end of the day on a Friday after hours or at all. In the end, teachers knew how to do right by their students. This even meant going on treasure hunts to find marks to fill report cards using a very vague map to cover a number of broad areas.

For my liking, I would love to have scrapped the focus on any marks for this term, and worked within a pass/not yet model.

Pt 2 (sung to the chorus of Escape, The Pina Colada Song by Rupert Holmes)

I am not into health spas.
I won’t ride on busses or Go Trains.

I am not into incomplete reporting
though the data sets must be gained.

I don’t like marking work til midnight
or going without sunlight for days.

I have been teaching from my basement,
and there’s no chance of escape.

The deeds are done and we can look back on them knowing that each teacher poured their heart and soul into their artistry as educators. Like any good gallery, the masterpieces ranged in complexity and beauty regardless of the eyes of the beholder. I’ll leave you with the last chorus to sing however you’d like.

At the heart of education,
We’ll stop at nothing to create,

To make the best of bad situations,
and challenges so hard to relate.

Can’t wait until we’re back in the classroom,
To learn, laugh, and say remember when?

It’s the year that no one planned for,
and hope will never happen again.

Thank you for all of your support over the past year. Wishing you a safe and relaxing summer. Celebrating you all with a cup of something cool and refreshing after I finish this cold cup of coffee.


6 Similes to describe how it felt to teach during COVID 19 Quarantine

Teaching during a quarantine was…

Like meaning with no  I, N or G. It was just mean. There were times when it felt forced, and meaningless because I was trying to make sense out of how to do this when it seemed more about keeping students busy and less about how they were feeling. 

Education during a pandemic was…

Like an infomercial. But wait, there’s more! More to do and definitely more to worry about.  Our students went AWOL – They’d gone absent without learning because they couldn’t connect. Their worlds had been turned upside down, and the one place where they could count on from Monday to Friday had been shuttered and now they were shut out. 

Learning for students during COVID 19 was…
Like making a pizza without a crust – there was nothing to hold all of the ingredients in place for students when life’s bigger problems consumed their ability to learn from home. Students needed their teachers to keep things together when things got tough and the class pizza, with all of its different toppings, got thrown into the oven.

Emergency distance learning was…
Like an ice cream cone with a hole in the bottom – the goodness melted away fast  and ended up on your shirt. Either way what was good couldn’t last long and usually there was something to clean up afterwards. I saw my students trying to make the best out of this mess yet there always seemed to be a scoop of some new flavour that no one wanted being added to the problem of learning outside of the classroom. 

Teaching from home during a shutdown felt…
Like performing a symphony where I had to write the score, conduct, play every instrument, and stack the chairs. There were so many little things that consumed the movements and moments of my day. It felt like I was simultaneously teaching a song to 25 individual performers all locked in their own rehearsal spaces.

Distance learning was…
Like running a marathon for the first time. You knew there was a finish line, but couldn’t remember how far you’d run or where you were going once you hit the wall. There came a point where fatigue set in and I began to doubt why I took this on in the first place? Some students hit the wall after the first day while others lasted until being told that the rest of their year at school was done. Even our strongest learners hit the wall at some point. Despite all of my training as a teacher, the toll that the marathon of teaching from home took on my mind and body was significant. I can only imagine how it affected our students.

I’m tired and a bit broken. The breath was stolen from my body when our students went home on March 13th. None of us imagined that we would be away for so long. I was allowed to visit my empty classroom 3 times since then and still hope that this has all been a bad dream. Walking down an empty hall in an empty school denied it’s life breath of students and their teachers was not how any of us would have wished this time in quarantine to be. 

From the onset and onslaught of learning in quarantine we had to work together, to grow together, and to continue learning together. It took time, patience, and grace. Each moment required a willingness to work meaningfully, to seek out those who had gone AWOL, bake a crust under that pizza, put a marshmallow in that cone to stop the good stuff from dripping out, play music until our fingers ached, and get up the next day ready to run the race again. 

The summer finish line has been crossed. We made it. Now where’s that pizza and ice cream?


Overwhelming Resources

As we engage in distance/remote/online/emergency learning Educators are being inundated with resources and tools to use in their virtual classrooms.  It isn’t easy to decide which would be most effective and which ones are safe for teachers and students to use.  There is no one size fits all answer to this but there are a few things that I do in order to narrow down my choices of whether or not to use a particular digital tool or resource:

  1.  I search for tools that are designed by Canadian or better yet, Ontario Educators and where possible, data is housed in Canada.
  2. I look at whether or not the tool will still be free after the COVID crisis is over or whether it has always been a free tool.  I honestly don’t mind paying for a tool from the outset but I don’t really like the whole free trial thing.  I also don’t want to pay some kind of a monthly fee.  One time price, please!  I don’t want to love a tool so much while it is free and then have to pay for it when I go back into the classroom.
  3. I look at whether or not it is a one time fee or negative billing.  I won’t give anyone my credit card to start a free trial for a tool.
  4. I search for tools that I know will be supported by my ICT department.  Anything that wants access to email contacts in my school board is a non-starter.
  5. I search for tools that inspire collaboration and creativity.  I’m not one to sign up students for a gaming platform that is really just an engaging math drill.
  6. I look at bang for my buck (even if it is free).  Is it a versatile tool?  Does it allow for different forms of communication?  Can I embed audio and video?  Is there an opportunity for a variety of feedback methods?
  7. I look at the Privacy statement.  Although I am no expert in this, I can generally tell when something has red flags.  Anything that is attached to third party social media platforms like Facebook is a non starter for me.
  8. Right now while there are so many sign ups and passwords for students, I stay away from platforms that want to create student accounts and want information apart from an email.
  9. I look to see if it is a Microsoft or Apple Education certified product?  I know that for the most part, those tools are trustworthy.
  10. I look at user reviews and YouTube tutorials.  I want to know what the pitfalls are of something before I invest time and/or money.

At the end of the day no tool is perfect and few tools are unlikely to meet the specific needs of each and every student in your classroom.  However, I hope that what I do when choosing a tool might guide you to the most effective tools in the over abundance of resources that are floating around out there.

Inspiration During the COVID Crisis

I know that as I write this, I speak from a fortunate position. We are working safely from home and all of us are still healthy.  Other than not being able to see extended family and friends, having some aches and pains from being in front of the computer and get out to the hair dresser, my family is coping pretty well with isolation.  While so many are suffering it has been humbling and inspiring to witness the resilience, creativity and kindness of those around us.

Music is everywhere.  Concerts on television bringing Canadian artists from their living rooms to ours, live Facebook concerts of our favourite Canadian musicians, and videos from friends and family sharing their music.  This week I joined a virtual Ukulele play and sing along with the Bytown Ukulele Group from Ottawa.  I played and sang along with people from British Columbia, Ireland, Nova Scotia and here in Peterborough!

Art is everywhere.  People are painting anything and everything!  From rocks to sea shells to paint nights with friends.  There are sketches and sculptures and pottery being made. From digital art to creating sketches from tutorials with famous artists; people are creating all kinds of beautiful art.

Dance is everywhere.  There are Tik-Tok videos of dances making teenagers get up and move and follow along.  Dance studios are going online to continue extra curricular dance lessons.  30 second dance parties are happening in my living room whenever we need a break from the computer screen.  Thankfully, none of that is being recorded!

There is culinary prowess being celebrated.  Yeast and flour are hot commodities right now because people are trying their hands at baking bread.  People are posting meals they have never made before and swapping recipes with friends.  People are growing things on their windowsills and in their backyards for the first time.

Innovation is everywhere.  People are trying their hands at DIY projects and coming up with innovative ways to connect online.  Teachers are learning digital tools they have never used before in order to connect with their students. We’ve been participating in online trivia and poker nights.  My son plays Jackbox party games with his friends while also chatting online or streams a movie together.

Most of all, I have witnessed incredible kindness.  I joined a Facebook group called Peterborough Shares.  At first it was mainly to communicate where to find particular grocery items and post information about shopping etc., It has since become a forum of connection where people ask for help and others respond.  From a new mom recently unemployed to a family who lost their home to fire, people are answering to the calls for help.  Something as simple as finding left handed scissors for a child to complete schoolwork or finding a hand crafted Mother’s Day gift, people are coming together to share that information and supporting one another in an unprecedented way.  More than ever, my city feels like a community.

I know I am in a fortunate position.  I am grateful every day that we took my 87 year old mom out of her retirement home when this all began and that she has remained healthy.  I am grateful that my 16 year old son has friends he connects with, teachers who care and a love of artistic things that feed his soul.  I am grateful that my husband and I can work from home and that he goes out and bravely gets the things we need.  I am grateful that in the middle of all of the chaos, in the middle of the grief and sadness, there is hope.

The screens of silence

I am wondering whether the title of this post should be “The screams of silence” because that’s how it feels some days.

It’s week four of emergency distance learning and I am feeling weaker for it. Is anyone else feeling this way from staring at their screen(s) all day? If asked, I’ve been responding with thumbs up and all good, but in reality I am fighting the dissonance disrupting my days, and it relates to the way I feel about what is happening in education right now. To top it off, I am wrestling with self-doubt about whether my instructional act is all together. Add to that the pressure I’m putting on myself to wake up feeling fit and fresh because I am working from the “comfort” of my basement. Being cooped up, I mean observing physical distancing, doesn’t help. See what I mean about interchangeable titles?

Then there is the daily media segment about something or another to do with #QuarantineEducation. This week an article in The Globe and Mail shared Some overwhelmed parents are giving up on distance learning and abandoning at-home schooling. This noise is hard to tune out when we have been asked to stay in place and create something that has never been done effectively on a large scale so quickly. Maybe that’s what is holding my head hostage? Or maybe it’s that my hair is too long? Both make me want to scream sometimes

There is something to be said about the experience of facilitating learning in the vacuum of 2020. It’s cold. As I stare at several connected screens to keeping track of at least 17 other currently opened tabs on my computer, I have to admit this is all a bit daunting – even for this tech-happy educator. If teaching is my superpower, then the screens, meetings, and other digital dungeons trying to contain me have become my kryptonite.

I share this neither in angst nor anger, but out of an admission that the struggle is a real one. It sounds like I am not alone. This surreal situation we are now in was, is, and will never be a positive experience. We were starting to recover from a devasting January and dreadful February only then to be steamrolled by March when an uncontrollable virus unleashed itself on the world. Welcome April, a month that no one would have predicted to be the first of two months away from our schools…so far.

What did we do? We rallied, we pivoted to support our students and each other, and we waited patiently knowing we had to care for our own families too. We were lucky that the start of March Break landed when it did, as it may have helped us to avoid something worse had COVID 19 entered our open schools. Throughout this time we turned to our screens to watch for updates, data, and directions.

While we waited and watched for answers, our thoughts continued to race and the questions began to bubble up. How am I going to reach my learners? How are students who are marginalized by poverty and or other circumstances coping with all of this? What are the expectations from my board, admin, families, and most importantly students? What about my life at home? How will I manage when many of my teaching resources are at school? How much work do I assign? How about due dates? Do I take attendance? What happens when students don’t complete work? How do I assess anything without fear that someone else has done the work?

Everybody was working together. As our profession embraced the challenge of this reality, digital resources were curated, virtual meetings were held, contact was reinitiated with families/students, and a sense of temporary normalcy had made its way back into our weekly M to F routines. Cue some new silences.

The enthusiasm of returning to instruction, albeit asynchronously, signified that something was being done on behalf of families and our students, but the lack of connection through voice and vision has been hard to overcome for this educator. Speaking with many other educators who are feeling the same way, it is the meaningful interactions with peers/teachers and the chance of being heard that students are craving the most right now. We need to make sure they are acknowledged and heard, and the current situation is leaving them without a voice.

Teachers are the conduits for connection in their classrooms and will never be replaced by an emoji, meme, or brief feedback on a task to be viewed in silence on a student’s screen. However, it has been difficult to connect with students due security issues relating to conferencing platforms such as Google Meet and Zoom. This is extremely frustrating for a number of reasons. With those screens dark, students are left to keyboard strokes, Screencastify, and digital classroom posts for their content and updates. This is not the education any of us signed up to deliver. Despite my efforts to adapt and fill my screens with amazing shareable content to carry on, something is missing. The voices of my students. Cue the disconnects. Cue the silent screams at silent screens.