Mary Vanasit, a third grade teacher in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District, is holding class for the first time since her school closed four days ago. On the computer screen in front of her, 21 of her 27 students form a squirming grid, each of them in their own little video chat universe.
Mason is rolling around in bed, Chris and Colton keep walking around, it’s impossible to understand Christian because he sounds like a robot, Kinley appears to be mildly tormenting her cat, and absolutely nobody is adhering to the hands-off-the-face mandate.
From her own box in the upper left corner of the screen, Vanasit does her best to keep the class on task. “Can you hit your speaker button so we don’t hear your background noise?” she asks one student. “Can you minimize your Zoom tab and then open Google Chrome?” she asks another. “If you look in the chat, it has the instructions.”