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Teaching in a time of pestilence (or I’ve not had coffee yet!)

Live streaming lessons? Me?!?! No-one needs to see that. EVER.

I’m lucky (or actually, my kids are lucky) that no one is expecting me to live-stream. But some schools are.

It’s not that I can’t do it. I can. But no. Just no. Not for a whole class, in the morning at my house where my dogs bark at shadows and my Little Dude out-screams the most committed of Banshee Warriors. I need coffee. I need make up and I need an hour’s drive to work before I see my kiddos. It gives me time to get my game face on. Literally.

See, I look like Cousin It when I’m at home. I’m a natural scruff and I’m not good on camera. I don’t like my nose, I notice wrinkles and skin is manky (at least that’s why I see in the webcam). Being live-streamed would make me hyper-conscious of all the things and I’d feel incredibly vulnerable in a way that I wouldn’t want to with kids that I teach from school.

I’m working with kids 1:1 tutoring and I know them all really quite well; they’re used to spending time with me and know lots of my quirks. Somehow Skyping them doesn’t trouble me. Their families are in the background and their siblings chip in, or the dog runs in front of the webcam. And that’s OK because that’s the relationship we have. It’s a much more proximal one. We’re all comfortable with it, because there’s not the same power differential or need for a ‘distanced’ relationship in the same way as there is at school.

But live-streaming the kiddos I teach in class at school. No. I don’t want that conflict of interest. And the interest is mine. It’s for my own well-being and safeguarding. Again, I will say that I am lucky and in a school where this isn’t expected. But there are schools where this is requested and it can very quickly ride roughshod over teachers’ rights and safeguarding. While I have matters of vanity and slight anxiety around being on camera too much, for others it’s too much.

Let’s just keep it relaxed: give me the time and space to have my coffee, then engage with my kiddos calmly and sensibly through Show My Homework!