Monthly Mentor

Natalie C. Jones (February)
Each month, a different member is the guest writer for the NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog. Natalie C. Jones is an artist, small business owner, and the director of education at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. She has 10 years of experience working as an art teacher and teaching artist throughout the east coast and the Midwest. Click "GO" to read her full bio.



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August 24, 2020

Please Mute!

By Glenda Lubiner

School has started for most of us and I know that if you are teaching remotely the new buzz words for this year are “Please mute and turn your camera on!” It translates to in the classroom sayings of “Please sit down and pay attention!”  Although I keep telling my students that if I can’t see them, they will be marked absent, they don’t seem to care or maybe they are muting me!! Overall, I will say that with almost 200 students, the majority are doing a great job! Respect must now be to be taught to the others in the household. I understand that everyone is home, but if the students are not muted, and at times they will not be, the others in the house need to turn the TV off and not talk on the phone. Not only is it distracting to the student, but to the rest of the class as well.  And, please remind your parents that if they are to be in view of the monitor, they must be dressed appropriately. So far, I personally have not had this problem. Thank goodness.

We are on block schedule this year so my classes are 75 minutes. Even though the classes are long, we do take a few minutes for a brain break to stretch and have a joke or two of the day. It is so important to build relationships with the kids especially because we were so used to seeing them around the school, in the courtyard/playground and in the cafeteria. Even if we didn’t teach them, we started to bond with so many of the kids. Online teaching is not like that at all. So, get to know your kids well. I’ve been doing an ice breaker with them every day, just so that I can get to know them, and so that they will feel more comfortable in the class with me, especially since this semester I have all sixth graders. Have fun with them and let them see you’re human too!

Artfully yours,

- GL


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