Teachers – Don’t Over Think It!

I haven’t slept tonight. I keep just writing post after post. I’m feeling driven by the Holy Spirit because I keep thinking of my dear friends and colleagues who are OVERWHELMED right now.  I have LITERALLY been doing this – teaching while the world has been burning down around me for the past 17 years. 😆 Anyone who knows me will tell you that the Waldrons just keep moving from crisis to crisis. In fact, I  JUST finished a Nov – Feb ordeal in which I was teaching my 6 classes at BYU-I as a visiting professor (each class meets 2 times a week with a total of approx. 300 students) and a daily Seminary class at Madison High School (add 5 more weekly classes, 23 students) to try to get hired on SOMEWHERE as a teacher when my BYU-I contract ends this July. Yes, that’s 11 preps for 17 classes weekly – all while, I am the mother of three and my poor husband (who already has other medical conditions) had a shoulder surgery (12/23/19) and then a bout with internal bleeding  at the end of January that left him zero energy for quite a few weeks. 

I GET how difficult this is for you, for all of us around the country and the world. My daughters’ schools are closing the same day that I am supposed to go live teaching my collage classes again – and we’re all going to be one big happy family in a two bedroom apartment as I try to teach students who are also in chaos (more on how to do that coming soon). Fortunately, I only have my BYU-I classes right now and my husband is doing much better – so this for me is like a vacation. 😉

My point is, these posts are here to help you. For whatever reason, I feel compelled to share, but I can’t get these posts into the hands of the overwhelmed teachers without your help.

So, breathe, and let’s start over –

Remember when you were a first time teacher and you did it one class at a time?

You only need to get one class up at a time.

Don’t overthink the whole few weeks at once, don’t stress.

Simple lessons and assignments.

(I have already written posts with more examples that are coming)

Here’s a quick example of something easy that you can do – (I sent this to my cousin who is an art instructor)

  1. Watch this video (use a youtube video from someone who is showing you how to use a certain technique, make sure to give that person praise, gratitude, and credit)  If you are worried about copyright and how it will effect you, here is some information Public Statement: Fair Use & Emergency Remote Teaching & Research
  2. If you can’t find a video on youtube or pictures on the web – grab your simple camera phone – 1-2 minutes video demonstrating the technique or procedure, or a succession of pictures (think old slide shows). Throw them up on a platform that you understand (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc.) and send it in a link to your students in an email with a short lesson.
  3. Have your students try the technique and
  4. Answer these questions:
    • What did you learn as you used this technique?
    • What do you need to do to improve as you move forward?
    • How can you use this technique in the future?
    • What else would you like to learn about?

Take any/all of that – adapt it to your needs. Copy, paste, edit. I give you permission.

In this post – Help! I have to change my face-to-face classes to online in just a few days I have a link to the first announcement that I gave my classes. Take any/all of that – adapt it to your needs. Copy, paste, edit. I give you permission.

In this post – Okay, Virtual Reboot, Now What?  I give tips and examples of instructions for the students to know what to do on the day that they come back. Take any/all of that – adapt it to your needs. Copy, paste, edit. I give you permission.

In this post – Tips for Virtual Conference Lessons I’m sharing some hard-learned advice and tips on video conferences. They are great, but I don’t anticipate that they are going to be what the classroom experience is. So I am trying to put up other options as fast as I can. Take any/all of that – adapt it to your needs. Copy, paste, edit. I give you permission.

In our short meeting tomorrow (see the instructions on the post above) I will likely spend the time doing the following (that is if the tech doesn’t crash)

  • Practicing the different features of the room – going in and out of breakout rooms.
  • I have some questions based on their prep for them to discuss. Oldest in the group leads the discussion, youngest takes notes, all are expected to participate) – we may or may not get to that, depending on the tech. Yes, I do think it’s going to be a problem, but that’s just based on my past experience. 😉
  • I have other plans for if the tech breaks down which you can read about in this post on – Tools for Teachers Who are Mired in the Middle of Converting F2F classes into Online Classes which is scheduled to be published in one minute and has a great suggestion for a discussion board that I can use in case it all breaks down. Take any/all of that – adapt it to your needs. Copy, paste, edit. I give you permission. 
  • I will give announcements like – I will be talking about asynchronous work  (I’m changing all of my due dates to the end of the week) and working on lessons that they can do anytime during the week. Because this is a hectic time for everyone!

YOU’VE GOT THIS!!!!

See, here’s an ugly picture of a whiteboard with instruction on it for a lesson that I did.  😉 Take simple pictures, take pictures of you handwriting something, of you demonstrating a vocal technique, or a dance move. It won’t be brilliant, but it DOSEN”T have to be perfect right now. I agree with this article from Rebecca Barrett-Fox, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Arkansas State University, Please Do a Bad Job of Putting Your Courses Online who reminds us to not take the prep and tech too high-end right now, because we are all in a crisis situation. Agreed! Use what you know. Be simple. If you have time, try out a new tech. If you need to do a quick discussion board for the first day, there is that idea again.

47506077-B7D8-4C02-B9D0-011DB74FA719 Again – YOU GOT this!!

A GREAT Big Thank you

Waldron Publishing

In 2011, I started an eBook publishing company. Just as

WP collageit got going, I found I was pregnant with our third daughter. Due to my age and other circumstances, the pregnancy was rough and I was unable to keep up with the pace that the burgeoning company needed to survive and thrive. So, in 2014, I gave all of the publishing rights back to the authors and still maintain two books. I am looking to one day begin again, armed with the great knowledge and experience gained from the original attempt.

I am very proud of the work that we did and what we were able to accomplish.

As a shout out, I recommend the wonderful books that we published. I was so blessed to work with such talented authors and creators, for whom I owe such a debt of gratitude for believing in me and in the project. I hope, at the end of the day that it was as good an experience (to learn and to grow) for each of them as it was for me. Here is a run-down of what we did in three short years.

Published Works (and links to where you can find them now):

(in order of when we published the book)

Artists

Featured Blog Writers

  • Tiffini Knight, eReads with Tiff
  • Jana Friel, Printables
  • Roy Wilhelm, Movies and Media
  • Harv Wilhelm, Memories

Editing and Consultation

  • Harv Wilhelm and Molly Wilhelm
  • Fiona Ostler
  • Bryan Waldron
  • Cameron Wilhelm
  • Jana Friel
  • Andra Jensen
  • The Knitting Club (Fiona, Tiff & Matt, Brady Tanner – SHAME!)
  • Shawna Fillmore and Ganel-Lyn Condie (G&S Marketing)

Authors (in various Stages of Production or discussion)

  • Elizabeth McConkie, Unpublished Work, Absolutley Simple: A Guidebook to Get-it-Done Memory Keeping
  • Kylee Shumway, Untitled Book on Soap Making, Tree Graphic
  • Steve Asay, Untitled Work on motivation
  • Various Author friends from LTUE

Pinterest

We still have a great following on Pinterest, and lots of free printables for your home and non-profit use.


Writing this has been healing. Sometimes we look at our past and think that certain experiences are complete failures because they don’t match our expectations. Though I was so proud of the work we did, I mainly saw Waldron Publishing as a disappointment. As I wrote this list however, I was amazed at what we actually accomplished and how many people believed in it enough to be a part of it. I feel humbled and extremely thankful!

“Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage,

no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow …

You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your [art]. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.”

Kurt Vonnegut

 

Presentation on Editing – 3/12/15

I will be doing a presentation on editing for Utah Valley Writers this Thursday, March 12, 2015 at 7:00 pm (there will be a critique of writing just before that at 6pm). The meeting will be at the Orem Public Library (58 North State Street // Phone: 801.229.70500) in the Media Room (downstairs).

I was planning on talking mostly about being an editor of one’s own work, or an editor in a peer group (levels of editing, etc.). Then I asked my friend, Tiffini Knight (community outreach director for UVW) if she could query some of the members as to what specific questions they had for the presentation, and I’m so glad that I did. Their questions took my planning in new directions and I am excited to incorporate them into the discussion.

Here are some of the questions –

  • What kind of training will a good editor have had?
  • Should we stick with an editor of our genre?
  • At what point can you tell your editor “no”?
  • What are fair charges for editing?
  • Talk about the contract; what components does it have?
  • Can I expect that an editor will help me if I’m stuck?
  • How many drafts can we expect to go through before our manuscripts may be ready to query?
  • How about what to look for in edits? In editors?
  • How to revise or rewrite (or get unstuck) during an edit if we are overwhelmed with the feedback we’ve received but know we should follow it?
  • How to go about finding an editor? There are so many freelance editors, how can you tell if they’re good?
  • In the past, we’ve gotten a lot of questions about the difference between line, content, copy, etc. editing . . . having her explain the difference?
  • What are her thoughts on hiring a freelance editor before you submit your ms to a publisher/agent in the case of traditional publishing as your goal? Waste money, time, etc.? or Powerful education, helps your chances, etc.?

I am so excited about the direction and the feedback. What a great group! I am planning on posting any materials, etc. here for reference.

Hope to see you there!!