First Day of School

Today is the first day of school. We are fully remote for the first two weeks. We the teachers were supposed to email our homeroom students the invite to our Google Classroom. The plan was to then greet the kids over Zoom then help them get the right GC codes for the rest of their classes so they could virtually attend them for the rest of the day.

Picture this (ideally in the style of Allie Bosch):

I’m at my computer at my dining room table. I’m dressed, hair done, makeup done, and even have earrings in (but no shoes. They won’t see my feet).

Behind me is one of my bookcases. Last night I rearranged some of the books/souvenirs on it to make sure the ones related to Mythology are the most visible.

I recheck all of my Google Classroom posts to make sure they’re scheduled for the right time. I answer a few administrative emails, and watch the clock tick towards the start of school.

Then Zoom goes down.

A flurry of texts and emails confirm this is not just a problem on my end. I quickly download a Google Meet extension so I can see the students in a grid view and set up a Google Meet, all the while getting pings of emails from kids who are panicking because Zoom isn’t working for them.

I start the Google Meet. Looks like I have most of the students I should have in it. Good enough. I greet them all and start the presentation about figuring out your schedule.

Ping. Ping. Ping. Several students don’t know which period they have what. They’re 6th graders, so the idea of periods is brand new to them (remember what that was a new thing for you?). It’s fine, I tell them. I’ll help you out.

I go to Infinite Campus, the site we use for attendance, grades, and to see student schedules.

Doesn’t work. Turns out that website crashed too.

Here’s the key image:

Me, trying to monitor two email addresses (because the district is stupid), calm down students, assure the parents who are looking over their kids’ shoulders, field individual questions, read the updates from the district IT (i.e. Everything is crashing everywhere!), see the notice from my principal that there’s a power outage in the school’s neighborhood, and figure out what to do when the kids have no idea what class to go to yet and I can’t even tell them whether they’re in my class or not.

And then Hela jumps from the bookcase top onto my shoulders with full claws for grip and notices my computer mouse for the first time ever and launches herself at my hand/the cord with Kill Mode activated while Mog yowls from the bathroom where her little box is and I look up to see her dragging her butt across my floor.

So, yeah. Happy first day.

It’s 2nd period now. 1st period was an acceptance of the disaster. I got on just long enough to say that I’m sorry things aren’t working, we’ll do a real 1st day when everyone can be there. After checking in on all my emails and Google Classroom streams to see if there’s anything more I can do, I accepted that there isn’t really anything to do without Infinite Campus. So I took off my shirt and ate a waffle.

(The shirt is because I was all stressed out and it was bugging me and I could control it and I already have two other layers under it and I promise I’ll remember to put it back on before my next class.)

(The waffle is because waffles.)

Welcome back to another school year.

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