Working with a demographic that is very comfortable with technology in this season made some of the transitions simple. Everyone was able to figure out how to get zoom up and run, navigate through links with ease, know. Between Instagram and TikTok and all the other social media mediums, our kids are very tech-savvy.
But even with the ease and skill using all the apps that they use, it was still blatantly obvious my students were craving connection, and honestly, and a handful of them were not doing great. So, I started making phone calls to do mental health checks and just talk to them. Personally, my relationship with phone calls historically has been I make a phone call to make a plan to do something, but now the phone call is the plan. Before, my phone calls would rarely last 5 minutes, and the short phone calls were typically unneeded due to the ease of text. I have been scheduling afternoon phone sessions with students, and they frequently eclipse the hour marker. They love it, and it has been good for me too.
I personally, much like many in the pandemic, was suddenly thrust into a much more sedentary lifestyle. I was ok with it, but after a few weeks of making phone calls, I decided to make them on my headset and walk around my neighborhood. I hadn't been paying attention to my health tracker, but I just noticed it identically mirrors the pandemic. I got cut in half the month of March, April and May were very low, and then I started making phone calls. It turns out a phone call goes a long way. Not just for my students, but me as well.