This past year has introduced our world to a whole new set of vocabulary: social distancing, quarantine, hybrid, asynchronous, remote learning…the list goes on and on.
I was left thinking about this new language today as my morning of distance learning was interrupted over and over again by first graders announcing that they were experiencing glitches.
“Ms. Carey, you’re glitchy. You sound like a robot.”
“I’m glitching. Everyone is frozen.”
“I can’t hear anything!”
Each time someone “glitched,” I took a deep breath and tried to get us through the technology obstacles. Today was a super windy day in Connecticut, so I wonder if maybe the weather had something to do with the extra glitches. Who knows? Either way, they made our day very disjointed. Luckily, the first graders are now quite familiar with many of the common fixes-none ever guaranteed. I sent several chat messages instructed those who lost sound to log out and come back. They’d give me a thumbs up, leave and come right back.
I’m often wonderstruck by just how these first graders have grown this year, how much stronger and more flexible they have grown with all the glitches that they have been forced to endure. Last week during conferences, I think I told every parent how these kids are the true rockstars of the pandemic.
Many of my students haven’t seen anyone outside of their home in over a year now. They are six and seven years old and they spend three hours a day directing their own learning. I always think about how they could curl up and take a nap on their bed, abandon their screen to play Legos, or flat out refuse to build words on their whiteboards. But they keep showing up and giving their all-glitches and all.