American University Rubbing Elbows July 2020 Unpacked: Zooming into Virtual Learning Gerri Beuerle, SOE/MAT '14, second grade teacher, Bethesda Elementary School, Bethesda, Maryland I’ve taught first and second grade at BE since 2014. I appreciate the kids’ curiosity and their open-mindedness to what the world could look like. I’m enrolled in a school administration certificate program, so I'm on the computer a lot. I was getting terrible headaches—the blue light glasses help. Teachers have been sharing book recommendations, which is a nice way to stay in touch. I just finished Still Alice by Lisa Genova and Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb. For eight hours a day I’m in charge of a parent’s greatest asset: their child. That can be hard to shake off. Coloring is calming and I feel a sense of accomplishment when I finish a page. Our schedule changes daily. It’s helpful to see it on a paper calendar—but one day I did start a math lesson 10 minutes early, so it’s not foolproof! I like to sit outside and read or listen to a podcast: New York Times Briefing or Post Reports. When my two sisters and I were growing up, our grandmother taught us to play card games. She died five years ago and whenever I’m with my sisters, we play poker or casino and talk about her. Now I’m teaching my husband, T.J., to play. I’ve been a competitive swimmer my whole life. There’s no replacement for being in the water, but I have developed a workout routine at home with my husband. When school closed on March 13, the Chromebook became my lifeline. I use it for lessons, meetings, grading. Elementary school teachers don’t spend a lot of time on the computer, so that’s been an adjustment. Teachers walk a lot—from the classroom to the cafeteria to recess. I go for a run or walk every day to keep my step count up. In school, I use a Promethean board, but everything is fun-sized now. I like the students to know I’m working through problems with them. I’m having fun experimenting in the kitchen. I did a cooking class on Zoom with my friend’s mom and made a delicious sausage rigatoni using Ina Garten’s recipe.