Archive for December, 2017

Skype Sick Day…

Friday was normal enough.  I joked to my physics classes that I’d be spending all weekend playing Zelda DLC…I was all caught up on grading.  I even planned on driving to Minot to do shopping.

But instead, I woke up sick on Saturday morning.  I threw up for about 6 hours until I felt miserable enough to go to the ER.  I came home about 4 hours later with magical pills that stopped the puking, but I still spent Sunday too weak to eat or get out of bed.  I took Monday off in the hopes that I could recharge, eat a full meal and maybe wander farther than the distance from the bed to the couch before going back to work on Tuesday.

I made improvements on Monday, but it was clear I still wouldn’t be energetic enough to run my classroom like usual.  The pills were still the only thing stopping me from throwing up, and I still hadn’t really eaten.  I would have to take Tuesday off as well.

I sat on the couch and whined to my husband.  I was out of easy sub activities for my physics class, and I really wanted them to start and finish another chapter before break.  The other classes could use the previous day’s sub notes, as they were in the middle of projects.

“Why don’t you just teach that class over Skype?”  he asked.

And so, Tuesday…today, the skype sick day happened.  Luckily, I had a camera from work that I had brought home to film robotics videos earlier this year.  I set up with a stack of paper and a sharpie, and my gaming headset and mic.  I typed out a sub note that started with, “I’m trying something new today, so I hope you’re feeling a bit adventurous.”  …and I woke up like normal with my husband, but when he went to work, I stayed behind and tried to get comfortable in front of my computer.  I decided to wait until after the second class to eat breakfast to make sure I stayed healthy while on camera.

My sub, Mr. Ward, was awesome in making sure it all came together.  It was his first time subbing at the high school, and I hope he got a good first impression and wasn’t too weirded out!  My husband went to my classroom and connected the call, and Mr. Ward and I had about 15 minutes to talk face to face before the first class started.  (Advanced Algebra support is a quiet first class, and a great place to test my tech…)  I spent that hour helping students with continuously compounding interest problems.  They probably would have been fine without me, but since Physics is 2nd hour, it didn’t seem like much more work to run both of the morning classes through Skype.  Some students who didn’t need help would occasionally wave at me…or watch my Chinchilla running around in the cage behind me.

The bell rang, and as the physics students came in and saw me on the board, one student asked, “Are we being pranked?”

“I am OZ: Great and Powerful!” I bellowed.  (or I’d like to think that I bellowed…probably not because talking still hurts…but this is my story, so let’s pretend I managed to bellow.)

The whole class jumped, and they told me I wasn’t funny.  I didn’t care…I though I was funny.


Mr. Ward passed back their quizzes, and we went over what they did yesterday.  Screen sharing didn’t work, so my normal power point presentation was kind of a bust.  Instead, the paper and sharpie came in handy as I subjected students to sad stick people drawings as I started the latest chapter.  But hey, they now know what work is from a physics standpoint, they have the formula, and they have something to work on before I come back tomorrow.

After physics, Mr. Ward and I chatted for 5-10 minutes about the rest of the day and I left him to it!

It was awesome to be able to brief a sub over skype before school starts.  He got to ask me about fire drill procedure with respect to a particular class hour, and I got to give him contingency plans for the class depending on time remaining after the fire drill.  I also got to describe which students needed escorts to the bathroom, or certain accommodations throughout the day.

All in all, it went pretty smoothly.  Now I’m going to eat breakfast and take a nap so I can be back to work in person tomorrow.