Teachers and Actors

It’s a rainy day in e-learning. Mr. Nelson (Gpa Marc) is helping Nadia work her way through lessons. I am in my office working but am treated to her listening as the teacher helps her to navigate the maze of learning that is kindergarten.

As we have made our way through this COVID life, in my mind I have often compared the similarities between Teaching and Acting (probably influenced by the fact that Mr. Nelson is an Actor first and a Teacher second). I thank and admire all the Teachers and Actors who perform multiple times each day or week. The morning class is the matinee and afternoon is the evening performance, Nadia’s teacher is performing 8 shows a week. Teachers and Actors prepare on their own time. It’s a overwhelming schedule and most Actors and Teachers are underpaid and undervalued, but yet they still give it their all. They chose their profession and are dedicated to excellence. One difference is that we currently are not able to experience and enjoy live theater and all of it’s wonder. I am confident we will again. Now back to E-learning.

My view of kindergarten is that it is learning. Learning to be in school, learning to focus, learning to count. Now, to do all that without a classroom, is a huge task to be kind and probably like a magic trick done without a net. But as I listen to her joy and I listen to her interactions and each day she is a bit more focused than the day before I am impressed. So that in itself is progress.

I am witnessing first hand the village it takes to complete e-learning and respect the frustration and choices that parents and teachers are facing to accomplish this momentous task.

In our little pod, my daughter was fortunate to land a new position in her field of study. But, in order for her to accept that position during this COVID-19 learning world, it required a solution to help the 5 year old with her e-learning. Gpa Marc to the rescue. It helps to have a patient teacher in residence. He offered to assist her on Tuesday and Thursdays. So, twice a week and twice each day they log in and attend class together. She is center stage and his is the Director, providing notes as required in the event she hits a bump in the road. He has also used his innate ability (charm) to help her help herself. He is an excellent educator.

One of her toughest spots is something called ST math, it’s a requirement to complete so much each week and it is also a way (I think) to improve the concentration skills of the new students. I watched him help her to do the math, without her knowing they were doing math. and it worked…

This is the soundtrack to my day twice a week as I work in my office. A joyous voice sharing her learning whenever I emerge from the office. Just now, I learned about skulls, what they are for and what is inside. Specifically the skull of the octopus and how the baby octopus follows the scent back to the ship. Ship I said? “yes, the octopus ship” (said with confidence as if I am daft.) I will take that learning and imagination rolled into one. She “exercises” twice a day along with the Adams family or with another that teaches her reflexes by occasionally calling out “freeze” and now she is busily doing “number blocks”.

Her excitement is infectious, and you want to join right in. It’s hard not to join in with the finger snapping Adams family exercise video. So while there are many difficulties to e-learning, there are also many bonus moments. Watching the brain expand, the eyes light up and the confidence grow. This is priceless.

So during the frustration remember to capture the joy as well. And applaud as you would at the end of a great Broadway show.

Until Next Time,