Behind the Scenes of Teaching Online

Yesterday morning my partner and I were at the breakfast table reflecting on the week. He mentioned his surprise at my ability to be exhausted one moment and perfectly bright and happy once I’m with my evening students online. Let’s NOT get it twisted. The perpetual state of exhaustion that is remote teaching does not go away. I’ve just learned how to rally so I bring my best self to my kiddos.

First of all, as I’m sure we have all learned from taking the perfect selfie, it is all about angles. You can often find me ”resting my eyes” while going over finger numbers and piano keys. The camera shares my perfectly manicured hands demonstrating finger placement, while my head lies back and I take deep breaths to keep pushing forward. You know the angle I’m talking about. After all, my studio day is 10 uninterrupted hours after a full time 5-day work week at the hospital.

Do you remember the days when kids would come to class with teacher goodies? What were some of your favorites? I loved my little packs of chocolate and Advil. In the studio I have my own little goodie set. Just behind my computer is my coffee, next to my water, and then a mug of soup for lunch since my students are scheduled back to back over the ten hours. Then, I’ve got a cup of straws to work with students on a number of post-COVID breathing techniques, gum drop lollipops for simultaneous support with tongue placement with my vocal students and that little burst of sugar energy, and a fan on top of a heavy sweater for the fluctuations in temperature under the hot photography lights. Yes? Anyone? We put the one man band to shame!

I really say all of this not only to give you an insight into the juggling act that is teaching online, but to say thank you. Thank you to my colleagues, fellow teachers, my OWN teachers, and all of the educators out there making it work. I see you and you are a total badass!

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