Today, I believe, represented the largest number of young people with whom I've shared an actual classroom in over a year. I'm rereading that first sentence to myself because I find it barely believable. I counted 17 students, seated compliantly in desks arranged in rows, each separated by at least three feet from the next. They all remembered to bring charged devices to school; their families cleared new hurdles by submitting electronic health screeners in timely fashion. A video set-up cobbled together at the front of the classroom brought another seven students into the proceedings from home. I plopped into what I wrongly thought of as a command center of sorts, toggling my attention between the remote and in-person crews. We were all using laptops to mediate our participation, yet we were together. ("Together"?)
We read aloud and discussed two poems. Even with our masks deployed effectively, we could all hear each other, whether in the room or patched in digitally.
Everyone contributed, by speaking or writing or both.