Thursday, December 17, 2020

Background Noise

For the last two and a half weeks before the end of the calendar year, I am covering a social studies class, special ed. Their assignments have been to continue reading through their textbook and outlining/answering questions. 

Their teacher sent me links to online versions of their textbooks, so we could read together in class. They read a paragraph or two. Then "we discuss", which basically means I ask questions and clarify things that weren't necessarily clear in the text. (Or, in the case of their 15 year old government book, are out of date.) 

Mathias volunteered to read. (I was calling on students, but I rarely turn down volunteers.) He turned on his mic, and. . . 

As Mathias started to read, his little brother screamed in the background. (At least, I assume brother. The age of the child made it hard to determine, and he/she is pre-words. Just screams.) Mathias tried to shush him, but sometimes babies scream. And this baby wasn't going to be calmed. Especially while Mathias couldn't focus on him while trying to talk to me. 

He apologized, while I assured him that wasn't necessary. Some things are just beyond one's control. 

Theo's younger brother was a bit older than Mathias'. But he was yelping in the background, too. It sounded like it had something to do with school. 

It's amazing what you can sort of tune out. I focused on the students. With things how they are, they can't help when their younger siblings are loud. 

But it's not all loud younger siblings. 

Imani volunteered to read. She had no screaming siblings in the background. As she read, though, when she'd mispronounce a word (this is frequent and normal), a male voice quietly corrected her. Brother, father, uncle, or other friend? No idea. 

It's nice to know that some of them do have some help at home.

These are strange times.

21 comments:

  1. A new feature of classes, unthinkable till now ... Indeed, strange times!

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  2. Strange times - I think many of us have had that kids/dogs/whatever yelling/barking/whining experience in trying to do something by phone. Blocking this stuff out can be hard and I can't imagine what teachers go through with it. Now I know a little of it.

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  3. It is interesting how in these times you can be present in homes of your students and hear and meet their loud siblings. I created a Youtube channel and it would mean a lot to me if you subscribe. Thank you!

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  4. I have a hard time trying to tune out screaming kids. I couldn't do it and have even asked clients to come back without their kids so can concentrate on their debts and options. Glad some are getting help too.

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    1. In your case, they really shouldn't be bringing their kids to those meetings, but I imagine in some cases, they don't have much of a choice. I learned to tune out screaming kids when I worked for the evil toy store (now defunct).

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  5. Some kids have been able to adapt, especially if their parents are around to help. Others have gotten lost in trying to do distance learning.

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  6. Bless their hearts. They are giving their best. Siblings never consider that.

    this one is great: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh4f9AYRCZY&ab_channel=BBCNews

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    Replies
    1. Ah yes, I remember that. I bet many are living that life now.

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  7. I never thought of siblings.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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  8. I can just guess what its like for teachers and subs, but there again, after hearing all that, its got to be hard for the students also. You are trying to learn with crying, yelling out and being corrected all the time makes learning and focusing unreal. I have issues just focusing on billing at work with folks in the office talking. Course, not been having to deal with that since March but its a thing. I have never been able to shut folks out or focus on what I am supposed to. My ex father in law could sit in front to the tv, grands all around playing and yelling, babies crying and others talking and he only heard the tv.....I only wished I had that super power.

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    1. Yeah, it can be hard to focus. I don't know how some of the kiddos are doing it.

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  9. Your last line said it all "these are strange times". And not only for virtual learning but people working from home who previously weren't and all they are experiencing having to deal with it.

    betty

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    Replies
    1. Oh yes. We are definitely all in this together.

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  10. It seems like everyone has some kind of background noise/distraction at least some of the time. We seem to have an unspoken rule at work that no one comments on anything anyone has going on in the background, and we're good about muting each other if it seems necessary. The upside is that we've all met each other's pets now.

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    Replies
    1. I definitely do that with their backgrounds, although they leave their cameras off most of the time.

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  11. The joys of online life. At least it doesn't sound like you've had the fails that seem to be all over youtube!

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