Pieces of the Remote Learning Puzzle: Camille Kavon, May 1, 2020

Friday, May 1, 2020
blank puzzle pieces
Education and Applied Psychology in a Time of COVID-19

Journal Excerpts

Day 16 of Remote Learning Instruction
I’ve been reflecting a lot on my practice today. What it means to be a teacher and the demands we place on ourselves as well as the demands from others. Perceived or otherwise. As teachers, we have an extraordinary opportunity right now to reflect on these new circumstances and come to a realization that we weren’t prepared for this event. The first three weeks of the safer at home order, every day my inbox was filled with kind letters of support, free access offers, trials and resource availability updates. This week I haven’t received any. My inbox is now full of emails from companies explaining why they can’t handle the demand and why their web-based resources are reliably unavailable. In comparison, the first few weeks, I personally felt I had the bandwidth to handle the challenge, bring it on! Now, I’m feeling a lack of energy, bandwidth and personal brain capacity to handle any requests. I may just start sending emails out saying my server is down for maintenance. Every day at 10:25am.

Day 17 of Remote Learning
As a teacher I am constantly reflecting how to help students with varying learning styles and developmental needs. I am acutely aware today that I am also addressing the learning styles of parents as well. How best to introduce information, log feedback and record their work. I found that parents were appreciative of the effort this week. I usually read a book out loud to my students this time of year. Bull Run--a book by Paul Fleischmann featuring 16 different voices expressing their point of view. When I thought about teaching the book this year, I worried about accessibility and equity for all. Something we think about when we are in the classroom but how to make it work today?

I offered to leave assigned copies in the doorway at school, asked if they wanted to read on their own devices, and offered to record myself reading the book out loud for students to listen and/or follow along. I know the value of students following along but I was also interested in helping the parent with the impassioned plea for less screen time on assignments. They could listen to me read and it was a well-received alternative. I’m not the kind of teacher that creates YouTube videos but I will record my voice. I purchased a solo subscription to Screen-Cast-O-Matic and I was off.

I borrowed the Doc Camera from school and after plugging it in realized that it needed to be higher to show the whole book as I read it. I completed my first screen cast and went back to watch and edit. Dismayed, I realized the box I had placed under the Doc Camera showed in the upper part of the screen. For all of 30 seconds, I had a war in my head about whether or not to re-record. I thought to myself—surely the parents would understand. But then, I decided, I needed to re-record. Parents may have understood the box of Firestone Walker Hoppy 12 Pack and Pale Ale Beer used as a pedestal but I really should try to stay professional…

Week 6 of Safer At Home: A series of images to celebrate humor and the need for play during this time. 
My son was tired of unicorn and garden puzzles. He just wanted something without any distraction at all! So I obliged. Doesn’t every teacher have a set of blank puzzles in their art cabinet? (This sign goes with the puzzle that leads the story.)











On a walk in my neighborhood. I appreciate everyone trying to see the humor in life.

funny lost bocce ball sign
















A poem I have on repeat in my head.

...may you kiss
the wind then turn from it…

and may you in your innocence
sail through this to that

Lucille Clifton's Blessing the Boats
















Camille Kavon, a Lecturer in the Teacher Education Program, is safer at home in Oxnard with her son Hayden. Her last day on a K-8 school campus was March 13th and she is currently a remote learning instructor for 132 middle school students. In between emails, teaching and planning sessions, Camille has discovered she loves baking bread.