I read faces–not eyes

I would love to hear from everyone about your teaching situation.

How are you teaching: Totally online? synch, asynch, hybrid, flex plan, students take home equipment, meeting outside– how is everyone coping with the first few weeks. I’d love to know (and once I figure it out this will be a poll instead of a post)– What its called and how it is working for you and the students?

At Emerson I’m teaching what we call a “Flex” plan. Camilo said it was 50% of 50%, which if I remember my math right its 25%– I thought they meant instruction–but they meant people in the buildings. And it is weirdly lonely and quiet in the buildings.

What kinds of discoveries are you making about teaching, about yourself, about your students?

I realized that I read faces–not eyes– I listen to voices and they are muffled and silenced by the configuration of the class. Under the best of circumstances, I find teaching tech stuff very awkward and even with equipment I’ve used for decades (literally this happened last week) I fumble in front of the class–Normally I make it part of the schtick–but now its a very  small class where I can’t see their expressions I am filled with self-doubt. They are here for such a brief time during the week, the time is precious and I don’t want to waste it. But I can’t tell how they feel. Do they think I’m funny? Or a huge dork? Are they bored? or worse…–Maybe they are just not paying attention–zoned out behind that mask. Its like Zoom but in person, and with masks–so well its like a truncated version of Zoom. —

I’m not entirely sure what to do, but I would love to hear how others are experiencing this.

And in the totally online arena: a class I’ve been teaching for years is fine but I have a respect issue from an older guy– emails that he would never send to a male (maybe I’m wrong but…)– (“This class just keeps getting better and better” after watching a feedback session from another semester).  How can you both establish some kind of rapport, keep up with everything and at the same time keep authority?  Seems like it should be easier from a distance, but for me it sometimes seems harder.

That said I have one older guy online student who is fantastic. And he just got a picture included in David Campany’s ICP show (and no Anne did not pull strings).

I look forward to tomorrow’s FotoFika to discuss these matters. And watch for a poll here from me soon.


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