My classes have theme weeks.  If you’re a student in my class, you  can guess the theme via facebook (Drcathynmc), twitter (@DrCathyNMC), Instagram (@DrCathyNMC), or just do it old school in our Zoom meetings in Moodle. I’ve even grabbed the username on YouTube, but have yet to upload anything there since Ensemble meets that need right now. Since moving online, I have cornered the social media corner of my name moniker, and am using it to reach out to my students (who are on their phones more than their laptops) via SM to keep them engaged.  And it’s working.

Each week I do announcements – in costume – part of the theme for the week.  I record the clips in Zoom, then transfer them over to Ensemble to be published. At worst, students roll their eyes and laugh, and [better] they log in to watch / engage / share the content.  I know they like it because they tell me. I’m having fun.  They are too, and for a brief moment they get to escape from the realities of our current circumstances.

Our teaching practices improve as we inform our teaching with the most current (and quality) information available. Like many colleagues, I have been investing 3-4x the time into moving lessons online, conducting Zoom group and 1×1 meetings, making videos, and more. But all of this is for naught if our students ‘check out’ or don’t remain engaged.  I’m putting in the extra effort to make it fun and [hopefully] keep them engaged these last few weeks.

Can you guess the themes from the past few weeks?