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Online lesson in practice

A lesson described from a teacher's perspective

Amsterdam, Thursday 25 March 2020

The students appear one by one, struggle to turn on the sound and we can start. The two students stranded in other countries can also participate. Everyone is doing well. I ask if they still move a bit, because most of them continue working from their home, behind their computer. I still hesitate to let them move in front of the camera. Maybe next lesson.

Everyone is used to it now: books are at the computer, homework is within reach. I already have a website, word document and power point ready on my computer.

Tonight we had the 3e lesson online. I have made questions with the teaching words, which we partly discuss in class: do you find an online lesson flexible expired? Yes, most think. A student finds it less enjoyable than in the classroom. So we hope that one day we will just physically meet again. I write the word at your destination in the chat, because someone asks what that means. I see students writing the word down in their notebook.

It is unfortunate that every now and then a connection is lost, or someone is difficult to understand if the bandwidth is not large enough. Tonight I am also hard to hear when the whole neighborhood looks at the NOS before the press conference, but after that it goes well again. If I email a student who was hard to understand after class, she emails back that she has been able to follow the lesson. Happy.

By waving people ask a turn, but usually it goes well by itself. After practicing a few teaching words together they separate in groups. I am left alone in the central room. I await what is lost. After a while hop from room to room, but sometimes students don't even notice I'm passing by. I'm a bit of a voyeur. Sometimes I break up the rooms too quickly: we were far from ready, they say when we are back together. I apologize, it takes some getting used to.

We take a break and some self-work time in the meantime. If I show a power point centrally with an explanation of grammar, I can see much better than in class how everyone is watching. I can see how much time it takes to process the information, because I can see close ups of faces on the right side of my screen. Educational.

After the break we come back and start plays, roles prepared in offline time. Dialogues are played with certain mandatory words. Applause afterwards. In the chat, people write the mandatory words they have heard. We close with a comfort poem (including audio) from the special collection at Poetry International. Some recite the poem in a different way, less worn, more cheerful, but with good emphasis. Everyone is happy to have seen each other and to continue learning Dutch. We thank each other and wish each other good days. Until the next lesson!

Nina Meihof

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