Slice of Life: Highly Efficient But Suddenly Forgetful

(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)

I thought I was being very efficient as a teacher, lining up the release of assignments in Google Classroom to coincide directly when I would need the students to access them. I worked on Sunday, thinking on Monday, for the morning work for school and home students in our hybrid model and for a writing prompt in my three ELA classes. I sent an email to all students in my sixth grade, about materials they would be needing (as we shift this week to synchronous teaching, with Zoom Stations in the classroom).

Everything was aligned, all set, and everything, wonderfully efficient. Or so I thought.

Winter Storm Through the Door

Then, the snow storm came, and the superintendent called off Monday on Sunday night (a bit pre-emptive, I thought, but OK, fine) and I completely forgot that I had these different things all ready for Monday to be released on their own. Google Classroom knows only the clock, not the weather.

I noticed something amiss early on, when a few students (who would be in the home hybrid) began to email me early.

“I thought we had a snow day?”

“Is this is a mistake or is this work we need to do on a snow day?”

“Mr. H, do we have today off or not? My mom says we do. But I see work here to do. So I’m confused.”

Oops. Dang it. I scrambled to pull back the assignment, to send an email out to everything, to relabel the assignments already live with a bold SNOW DAY MISTAKE — GO PLAY, and apologized to those who had emailed me directly.

(A part of me thought, it’s so cool that they were so attentive to the ways our days begin that they were even paying attention enough to notice and email me … that’s another Slice on another day.)

As I write this, I just realized: I have something scheduled for release tomorrow that needs to be adjusted. I need to unschedule that. Be right back …. I’m back … all set …. thanks for waiting.

Peace (forgetfully yours),

Poetic Crowd Collaboration

Throwing Poems into the WorldI am always a huge fan of crowd poetry, where technology tools, even simple ones, allow for collaboration of acquaintances and strangers, so I was all in when my CLMOOC/DS106 friends Wendy and Sarah started up a poem for the DS106 9-year celebration of daily creative prompts (The Daily Create). It’s been encouraging and inspiring to see how many people have jumped in to add a line (the goal is 106 lines of poem).

When I have either facilitated or joined these projects in the past, there have always been elements of surprise, or hidden threads that suddenly connect the shared writing together. That we are just writing, and writing poetry, is a huge win in an age of distractions, I would say. I’ll be curious to see where the poem goes.

There’s still room for you, too. Come write a line of the poem.

Peace (and poems),

PS — I had this funny idea of intersecting the trend of Sea Shanties on Tik Tok with the DS106 collaborative poem. I didn’t write the song (yet?). I made a comic, instead.

Shanty Time