Teachers are adapting to virtual learning and documenting this new struggle on TikTok.
A TikTok from kindergarten teacher @kenziiewenz was posted to Twitter earlier this week, with the caption “This woman should literally be paid one million dollars a year.” In the video, she calls on a student named Grayson, then holds up a card to show the student that they need to unmute. Then waits... and waits... for them to unmute.
This communication lag is now universal: We’re all living in some version of “Can you get your microphone on?” But teachers have had to adapt in other ways. Another kindergarten teacher, @vividmichael, showed off his “tech challenge,” which includes laminated cards that say “Unmute” and “Mute,” as well as “Camera off.”
The Twitter thread went viral, getting a signal boost from Chrissy Teigen. Perhaps since the initial tweet advocated paying a woman more—though, obviously, not literally one million dollars a year—the thread was filled with trolls claiming teaching isn’t that hard, or that what these men and women are doing is just “babysitting,” overlooking the teachers who were forced back into in-person teaching during a pandemic, or who had to pay for protective equipment out of pocket, or who are balancing their own childcare along with their jobs.
Trying to hold the attention of kindergarten-age kids in a classroom already requires unlimited patience and energy. On a platform like Zoom, where a bad connection can derail a lesson, you also have to know how to improvise. Kindergarten teacher @iamsofiabella documented her virtual struggle with sound issues and attention spans. “Are we almost done?" asks one student. "I’m tired."
And while getting kids to mute or unmute is one recurring issue, elsewhere teachers documented all the other responsibilities they have right now, beyond just engaging with students. As @millennialteacher 31 says: "Show us some grace!"