Garth stopped in Dublin on his way home from Ohio Etech to officially meet my administration and the students. Though the students have seen him all year via Skype and Google Hangout this was the first time they met face to face. In fact this was only the fourth time that Garth and I had met face to face. I did not tell the students he was coming so their reactions were nothing but authentic. We walked into the first class and I introduced Garth to one of our Language Arts teachers. A few moments later, a student turns and says, “You’re the teacher from Cleveland” then all of the heads turn. Garth talked to the class for a few moments and then began talking with students about previous conversations they had through Skype.
Since we only had a limited amount of time we finished the conversation with the first class and moved on to the next. We followed the same pattern in all of the classes we visited and though some were quicker to recognize him there was no doubt all of the students were excited to see him. One of my favorite interactions was when Garth entered the last classroom he saw a young lady who is working on a project with one of his students. Garth said to the student, “Hey, Rose (name changed for confidentiality) wants to talk to you about the project. She asks me every day when she can talk to you again” We have had a hard time getting the two girls to talk with the amount of obstacles in the past few weeks. But, when he told Joy (the student from Davis) that Rose was asking about her the smile that came across her face was amazing. I am glad Garth was able to meet the students and am really excited in the possibility of the two schools doing a field trip at the beginning of next year for the students to meet in person.
About a month later I got the opportunity to go visit Garth and his students at Beachwood. While I was there I got to talk with the students as they worked on their blog post for either the Crusades or the Magna Carta. It was awesome seeing the variety of ways they were choosing to demonstrate their knowledge. Some students were singing a parody, some were making a thinglink, while others were simply writing a story as if they were living through the time period. I didn't realize until I started writing this post how much it felt like I already knew the students and they already knew me the instant I walked into that room. It was like we had seen each other all year on a big screen or something. Who knows maybe next year we will be able to take our students on a field trip to meet one another.