Over the last ten years, I’ve done plenty of live, in-person school visits. And in the last couple of years, I’ve gotten the hang of Skype school visits. But recently I did something completely new.
See all those empty chairs on the left of the photo? Those seats were supposed to be filled with kindergarteners.
See the screen behind the student performers? It’s bursting with eager kindergarteners. They’re Skyping us from down the hall.
Sound crazy? Here’s the deal. The day before my visit, a couple of kindergarteners were diagnosed with pneumonia. So the entire kindergarten was under quarantine. Those poor kids couldn’t leave their classroom, and I couldn’t go in. But thanks to the magic of technology, the clever teachers at Hampstead Academy came up with a solution.
Because I’ve Skyped before, I thought I could handle this. But there were a few surprises. The biggest one was that the first and second graders in the room with me missed their kindergarten friends. And it was so exciting to see them on the screen. So all through my program, they kept saying hi and waving to each other.
I tried to stop them.
Their teachers tried to stop them.
Even the principal tried to stop them.
But what can I say, the temptation was just too great. They technology was too exciting. They couldn’t stop themselves. But after a while, the novelty wore off or maybe I was so engaging they managed to focus on the presentation.
It was a fun—and educational—day, and that’s my favorite kind.
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone. I'll be back on Monday.