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Today’s reader is Terry McLean from Edmonton, Canada. He even gave his piece a title and some background:
I have been teaching English as an Additional language (EAL) in Edmonton, Alberta for quite a spell. I started writing a blurb about my new reality of remote teaching from the basement, but it turned into a bit of a light-hearted vent.
Remote Teaching with an Amber Restorative
Lord love a duck. Thanks, COVID-19. Right after eschewing my inner Luddite while scrambling to remotely teach my English as an Additional Language (EAL) courses, I now find myself building and fretting as I am in the thick of a new online spring/summer semester. If I may borrow from the sentiments of the inimitable PG Wodehouse: if not completely disgruntled, I am certainly far from gruntled.
Oh, please don’t get me wrong. I realize that my woes are wee; I am lucky. My loved ones are healthy, and I have a job with more than enough to keep me meaningfully occupied during diet-free, self-distancing season. For this, I am grateful. Nevertheless, fretting still rears its head, particularly for yours truly, who grew up in antiquity when tablets and cell phones were regarded as accoutrements for the likes of Spock or Ziggy Stardust. Alas, the days of calling Scotty to beam me up to dodge a sticky jam are long gone.
When I was in university in the early 80s, I took a computer science class in which we read about flowcharts and binary code—we never once tickled the keys of a computer. Zoom to the present: wired to the ears, students have game—they are tech savvy.
Truth be told, I have been using online platforms for blended teaching and learning for many years, and there are advantages to this approach. That said, if I had my druthers, next semester I would be holding court in the classroom in a sequined bespoke hazmat suit.
Fret not. My theory, which I will call my own, is that in this brave new world, my technological tickle trunk will be even more jam-packed than the original. So, enough gnashing of teeth. Time for that amber restorative. That’s what Christopher Hitchens would have said (I miss Hitch).