I teach a diverse group of 26 fifth graders at a public elementary school in the Silicon Valley of California. My students have a variety of linguistic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Over 50% of our students are English learners and over 1/3 come from low-income families.
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted my job of helping to prepare students for success in middle school and beyond as they reach their personal and educational goals.
Santa Clara County schools shut down completely on March 13th, and I didn't even get to say goodbye to my students. We were lost, confused, and scared of a virus that was, and still is, sweeping across the planet. As if that weren't enough, my district announced that we'd be launching 100% online distance learning. I packed as much curriculum and teaching tools as I could into the trunk of my car. I've been teaching myself online platforms, extensions, and apps. I'm spending every day editing PDFs and creating Slides with hyperlinks. I'm using live Google Meets with my class each morning, grading countless Classroom docs, and fielding parent emails while juggling being a parent to two schoolchildren myself. We need help!
Sheltering in place due to COVID-19 and having to do 100% online distance teaching is no easy feat! Compounding that with parenting is a whole additional challenge! Any given morning, my school librarian husband, kindergartener, second grader, and I are on Google Meet and trying to do our jobs of teaching and learning effectively. As much as we try to focus, someone is always needing to participate in instruction or activities online. Due to poor lighting in our bedroom, I conduct my Morning Meetings and live instruction with my 5th graders from our living room. Because I'm in a more central location, I am bombarded with noise from around the house.
Noise-canceling headphones will allow me to block out extra input and hear my students well without constantly asking them to repeat themselves, as well as help my class listen to me more clearly with the use of a microphone.
I would love to be able to feel more connected to my class by not having to struggle with audio issues and constantly asking students to repeat themselves because my husband and daughters are talking nearby. I meet with my class as a whole, small groups for additional help, and tutoring, and one-on-one. It is essential that we can hear each other to maintain our personal relationships. In order to be easily understood and engaging, my students need to be able to hear my voice without noise in my home distracting them. I have had to plead with my family to keep the volume down when I am trying to record read aloud and lessons, and would benefit from having a better microphone to assist me. We would all benefit from this piece of technology during distance learning. Thank you so much for considering a donation to our project!
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