Pandemic Panoramic

The Chem teacher was up close and in the frame. Only baby’s see that tight shot.


I saw this yesterday when I checked to see Jason’s, my son, readiness to sit for the test. To show my solidarity, I brought Jason a periodic table and was checking to see whether he had chewed his breakfast.


Jason’s camera was off.


Me:”Why is your camera off?” I glanced over and there was a student doing a jumping jack as a break while she listened. She took several steps back, so she was fully visible right in front of a closet door and came back forward to sit down.


J:”Mom, I’ll turn it on when I am done eating.”


I couldn’t hear the teacher (he was talking into Jason’s headphones) but the teacher’s face was tightly framed. He had something in his hands, and he looked like if he could have reached out of the camera and taken their hands and placed them on the imaginary ropes, he would have. I got him. The teacher’s emotions were in the frame.


It is not easy teaching this way. And clearly, the teacher is trying to get them to learn. Desperately, even. I knew that the teacher had announced that more practice was needed and he would decide later in the class if the test would be postponed.


I agreed with that move. At least for the first portion of the class, the students were fully attentive, not knowing what the teacher’s decision would be.


What can I say? Jumping jack girl, the tight shot talking directly to them, and the young man who was hurriedly eating a 3 waffle and nutella sandwich, all imprinted the spirit of what this is like.


It struck me because I don’t think I every looked at my teacher’s face so closely and saw their humanity. I have no idea what these young people are learning. But I understood that they are learning something. It may not be the subject matter. And, maybe, that’s okay.



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