eLearning is Not Magical

I’m not gonna lie. This whole eLearning thing sucks rotten eggs. Over here at the Pediatric Psych Ward, we are completely over it and DONE. And it’s not for lack of teachers putting together a variety of interesting and meaningful material for them every day. Honestly, it’s mind blowing to think how much these angels of education are toiling behind the scenes to put together the shattered pieces of their lesson plans and presenting them in a way that is remotely engaging and educational.

No matter how hard they try, there is no way for them to convey the magic of school. No, the inmates don’t go to Hogwarts, but magic does happen each and every day for them at their school. They collaborate with their peers to help each other learn. Their teachers help explain things in creative ways the Warden or I never could, and do so with infinite patience. Recess now is boring and lonely without friends to play with. Even when I do get them to play outside, it isn’t rejuvenating for them. How could it be without the the smiling faces of their friends and the cacophony of children laughing and having fun. It’s like watching a funny movie with the dialogue and soundtrack turned off. And lunch? The lunch lady is getting surlier by the day and frankly, I’m surprised there haven’t been more food fights.

For our teachers, eLearning is like asking a world-class chef to cook without any herbs and spices and to do so over a hotplate. No matter how fresh the vegetables or high quality the meat they use, the end result provides nutrition and sustenance but lacks the complexity of flavors only masters can impart. For students, it’s like ordering take-out and having to reheat it in the microwave and then eat it over the sink. It’s just not the same.

Every day I push, prod, hound and force the inmates to complete their school work. I feel like an angry drill sergeant making them run another five miles and drop and do 100 push-ups. While I know they need to do their work to keep their minds active and fit, there is no joy in it. How could there be when the only thing my kids want is to be back at Hogwarts with their magical professors, Hagrid, Hermione and Ron. Instead, they are trapped inside the cupboard under the stairs.

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