For anyone who hasn’t had the distinct experience of managing remote learning for an elementary school-aged child, here I shall transcribe a video post my second-grader recorded and uploaded to Seesaw, the app my kids’ school uses as a platform for them to post their work. This video she took of herself is a response to a reflection question, I assume, relating to some content her teacher had provided. She was working in her room for the most part that day while I navigated her brother’s Kindergarten online learning requirements, so I have no context in which to couch this most enigmatic narrative. The video, which is fifty-two seconds long, was shot from her iPad ostensibly positioned on her pillow, as evidenced by the roughly forty-five degree upward angle on her face. The camera is pointing basically directly up her nose with a mighty nice view of the ceiling for a backdrop. I wish I could convey her tone and inflection here for full effect, but the transcript does a pretty good job of summing up the particular disconnect implicit in the practice of remote learning.
“Well. I would have given them advice to, like…I don’t know, not steal and maybe not go to that country and bring lots and lots more food…and, like…in a big boat going that far, I would not have done that, going that far…probably bring more water…don’t drink that river, eucchhh, that’s disgusting…don’t eat the dead…if you do die or get sick or something, you should bring, like…stuff that you have to help…bring more stuff to help. I hope you learned stuff from that video and I hope you learned stuff from me. Bye.”
I did learn stuff from that video. Here I was thinking that teachers should be paid about six times more than they currently earn, but now I know that their salaries should be, like…twelve times higher. Also, river water and “the dead” are officially off the menu.