I'm in the dark, feeling cold. Super cold. I know that I have to go on, but there are days when I can hardly move a muscle. I'm doing my best to teach through the screen and not to the screen (Morris 2020). I want to see and "feel" my students as human beings who are probably struggling with isolation and loneliness as much as I do. I am super grateful for the enlightening moments on Zoom when students add comments to the chat, share a thumb up, or, only for a few seconds, switch on their mics and/or cameras.
Teaching is strongly built on decoding: we constantly read the verbal and non-verbal signals that our students make, consciously or not, in the classroom. That is how we make instant adjustments in the lesson plan, review a task if needed, clarify the instructions, give more explanation. Good teaching never follows the lesson plan rigidly. It is rather like a pedagogy of the moment, a process of adjusting and re-adjusting, which tends to happen invisibly, in our minds during the lesson.
I'm aware that I can ask for feedback at any time during the course. But it's different from the natural decoding process of the here&now. All I can do is to continue teaching in the dark, blindfolded but also filled with hope that what I am doing is good and relevant for the students. There is no other way to go.
Morris, Sean Michael (2020). Teaching through the screen and the necessity of imagination literacy. OEB plenary talk. https://www.seanmichaelmorris.com/teaching-through-the-screen-and-the-necessity-of-imagination-literacy/
Unsplash, Paolo Nicolello https://unsplash.com/photos/XZ5RUsJGyz4