Teachers will lead them

We are learning the true worth of teachers now.

And not just teachers, but all educators.

I was asked to sit in on a Google Classroom recently — because I’m soooooo good looking.

OK, wait. I’m getting ahead of myself here.

Teachers are still teaching — but not in the traditional ways we all grew up with. They are reaching out to students through computer classrooms. This new way might be better because a teacher can tell a student or students to mute themselves while they talk to another student individually.

And that’s better than yelling at a room full of kids to “quiet down.” I did learn there is one problem with the “mute” system, however.

“Vincent, you can unmute yourself … Vincent … VINCENT! Unmute yourself.

“Vincent … Sarah, where did Vincent go? Sarah? Sarah, unmute yourself honey and get your finger out of your nose. You know you’re not supposed to touch your face. Now, where did Vincent go?”

About a minute later Vincent popped back on the screen with a doughnut.

I guess the point is, teaching via Google Classroom, or Zoom, is creating new challenges for teachers. Tell me a kid in fourth grade isn’t going to sneak and get a Pop Tart (or in one case, an avocado) while his teacher is explaining something to another student and I’ll know you’ve been locked in a closet too long.

They are teaching, but they are also having to keep the kids (not all) engaged.

That’s where I came in — asked to join a class for just a few minutes to sorta break up the routine. And because I’m sooooooo good looking.

And I learned a lot. Kids don’t care if you work at a newspaper, but they like seeing a grown-up wearing a Batman shirt and Batman pajama bottoms and drinking hot tea.

They like to be asked about what movies they’ve watched and what activities they’re doing outside.

They like bad jokes. Really, really, really bad jokes.

They like it when an adult listens to them talk about … anything.

“And my sister, she’s 3, she goes into my room and gets my basketball and she just leaves it out. She never puts it back. And she knocked over a glass of juice I had in my room and my mom got so mad at me and I didn’t knock over the stupid juice, my sister did. But Mom said I shouldn’t have juice in my room.

“So that’s why I want one of those nets that people walk on and then it grabs them and they are hanging upside down.

“Mom said I couldn’t have one. I haven’t asked Dad yet. Do you want to ask him for me?”

Or the kid who kept making faces.

“Thomas, why are you making faces?” his teacher asked him.

“I’m not making … You can see me?”

And it’s hard to keep track of 20 or so little windows on your computer screen. “Haley … Haley, tilt your camera down, all I can see is the very top of your head and the wall behind you.”

Or, “Tyler, are you outside? That’s great because it’s a beautiful day and … Tyler! Tyler, watch out for the sprinkler!”

But the kids are learning. They are doing math problems, science experiments, reading books and writing book reports and e-mailing them to the teacher. They are asking questions. They are engaged. And it seems like they are enjoying it.

The class I sat in on started at 8:30 a.m., but the kids were logging on as early as 8 a.m. so they could chat with each other and with the teacher. And they talked about everything — even school work.

Every once in a while a kid’s computer would freeze or have a glitch or something and then you’d get to see what kind of pajamas the parent was wearing when he/she came into the frame to fix it.

And then, after I said it was nice talking with them and told them to have a good day, one little girl asked, “Mister, do you even have a job?”

I laughed and told her I did.

“But you’re not a teacher; why are you on here?”

I guess because I’m soooooo good looking.

Stay safe folks and wash those hands.

And tell a teacher how much you appreciate them because they are adjusting and adapting and doing a heck of a job.