Monday, January 12, 2015

Sick Day 21st Century Style

I woke up this morning with a nasty migraine. It only took a few minutes to realize it was going to last all day, so I called in sick. Well, I didn't exactly "call" in...I sent a text message to our vice principal who responded via text message a few minutes later. Impersonal? Possibly. But when your head feels like it's going to explode, another person's voice in your ear might just send you over the edge.

Lesson plans are a lot of fun to write when lights cause you further pain, but it was certainly easier than going to school all day. I wrote my plans up in a Google Doc and emailed them to my sub before she even left her home. I told her that if she had any questions she could text me or have one of my students send me a message via Voxer. I love using Voxer with my seventh graders! They can send me text messages or voice messages and I can quickly respond to them. It's much faster than email for me. I've also set up a seventh grade group for us so that they can ask questions (like homework help) of the entire class. Quite often I don't need to respond at all.

Another tool that comes in quite handy when I'm out sick is Edmodo. I added a few assignments for both seventh and eighth grade in Edmodo early this morning and scheduled them to show up during class time. All my sub needs to do is say, "There's an assignment in Edmodo," and the kids know exactly what to do.

After school today, my phone started buzzing off the table as my students were sending questions to our seventh grade group via Voxer. A few of them I had to chime in on (due dates, and the like), but for the most part, they answered each other's questions. I monitored their conversations from my couch where the cat and I spent the day watching shows on Netflix. I remember the days when a sick day meant sheer boredom due to daytime television. Even that's a thing of the past.

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