Chrome books and WiFi and mute buttons, oh my! Online learning has certainly pushed most of us teachers right up against the learning curve, especially when it comes to technology.
But we are hearing good news from our WeAreTeachers readers. Yes, there are snafus. No, it is not the same as in-person learning. And yes, there are definitely lots of funny stories to add to our teacher biographies!
Here are some of the funny online learning stories teachers are sharing:
Our students are masters at multi-tasking.
“Today, one of my students was mopping the floors during my live Zoom class.” —Dawn A.
“I had a student get up from the floor and walk into his closet. We could see that he was changing clothes based on his arm and leg movements, though thankfully we couldn’t see anything other than a random arm or leg. He came back and sat down and when I asked if he just changed clothes he said, ‘Yes, I hadn’t gotten out of my pajamas yet.'” —Jennifer E.
“One of my students is working at his dad’s lumber company and he was literally cutting down trees while reviewing for a test.” —Kathleen G.
Sometimes, special guest stars show up.
“I had a kindergartener who was on camera and I looked away and looked back and there was a big Woody doll (from Toy Story) in his place! I cracked up.” —Amanda R.
“One of my high school students brought her life-size alien, Roger, to class with her and introduced us to him.” —April R.
“While teaching students how to construct a short argument, my twin five-year-olds barged in fighting over who was the rightful owner of a foam sword.” —Laurie G.
And of course we all want to look our best on camera.
“I teach PreK and yesterday I had a girl put on makeup while using the computer as a mirror during my read aloud!” —Jessica M.
“One of my kiddos showed up in a tiara today and insisted we listen to ‘Let it Go.’ I mean, how could we not?” —Lauren S.
“One kid came in full Ninja Turtle costume, another one in just boxers, and the list goes on. Never a dull moment.” —Dawn A.
Some of us have added fuzzy critters to our roster.
“I had a middle school student with a live cockatiel on her head the entire meeting.” —Ashley S.
“We were doing a pet show and tell, and then one girl yelled, ‘Wait! I’ll be right back!’ She ran off and about 3 minutes later, she had a huge chicken in her arms!” —Amy H.
“I mentioned that I would love to see my students’ pets. My 7th graders shared: 5 goats (one in a bed), 3 chickens, 2 guinea pigs, 3 cats and countless cute dogs. It was worth it!” —Bailey T.
Just like in the classroom, distractions and disruptions abound.
“I had someone come over to switch out my smoke detectors but didn’t realize he would test every single one of them. They all went off together, so every time he added one, it got louder. Not to mention, my dogs kept barking at him.” —Jill W.
“One of my students brought us out to her trampoline, then jumped the entire Morning Meeting, with the Chrome Book in her hands.” —Erin R.
“A favorite trick for my students is to sit in an office chair and twirl the entire time!” —Melissa B.
“One of mine just runs around in circles while twirling the chair.” —Kim F.
“Roll on the floor. Stay in bed. Don’t wear a shirt. Show every scraped knee, bee sting, loose tooth and splinter.” —Angie A.
“Don’t forget checking out those wiggly teeth in the camera!” —Alyssa S.
“My students think it’s funny to change their Zoom names: ‘Booby boy’, ‘Sup, you?’, ‘Yes I’m awesome’, ‘Burrrrrp’” —Jane B.
And we find ourselves saying new and interesting things.
“Please don’t use the webcam and computer screen as a mirror when you floss.” and “Yes, your cat is beautiful, but if he’s hiding under the bed and growling maybe this isn’t the best time to show him to us.” —Rachael O.
“Ok, no more licking the camera” and “Stop licking your screen.” —Tasha P.
Of course, there have been a few cringe-worthy moments.
“One mom didn’t realize her mic was on because she couldn’t hear anything (I think the volume was down) and she proceeded to go off about ‘this stupid sh*t’ doesn’t work!’ I kept muting her but she would turn the mic back on and continue to rant until she finally got it to work properly. She must have realized what happened because she emailed me later, apologizing profusely!” —Kelly C.
“Teacher: (Scavenger hunt game) “Find something in the shape of a square.” Child: “Found it!” (Brings a box of tampons). Mother in the background: mortified!” —Krista B.
“I played this with my preschoolers, too! For rectangle one of my girls held up her dad’s credit card with all the numbers on full display. I asked her to take it down and she turned it around, so we all got to see the code too!” —Kel H.
And unfortunately, you just can’t “unsee” some things.
“One student’s little brother (4 years old) joined us, completely naked. All of the kids started laughing and I was scanning the squares. I finally saw why!” —Ashley H.
“Got to see the baby marijuana plants growing in the background under lights. Quite an operation going on there!” —Richard H.
“Walking around the house with your tablet is never a good idea when mom is walking around in her undies.” —Jennifer R.
“I was ‘mooned’ during a 1-1 lesson with a kindergarten student when the principal made an announcement over the loudspeaker in the middle of the lesson. (The student had clothes on, he just turned around in his chair and showed me his behind!)” —Stacey S.
“My first Zoom meeting with my middle schoolers involved one of my student’s giant dogs walking across her computer which was apparently sitting on the floor. Then it stopped so that its giant balls were the only thing on her screen. We all lost it as she tried desperately to get her dog to move. SMH! They will certainly never forget that! Lol.” —Steph C.
So, for most of us, we’re doing okay, but online learning will never take the place of the real thing.
“At the end of my Zoom meeting yesterday one of my 4 year olds raised his hand and said, ‘I miss you. Why can’t we go to school?'” —Julie T.
Come share your funny online learning stories in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.
And check out What Teachers Miss the Most About School.