Making the Move to “Zoomers” and “Roomers”

Ever since we made the decision to return to a remote/hybrid/concurrent format with students my mind has been working overtime trying to figure out what that is going to look like.  I know I’m preaching to the choir with this one, you’ve all been doing the same thing!  

This weekend I turned to Twitter to see what others are doing.  It’s always helpful to hear what other teachers who are already in this boat are doing with their kids.  To start off, even though we don’t use Zoom, I like the way many of them refer to their students as “Zoomers” and/or “Roomers”.  I’m not sure “Meeters” and “Roomers” have the same panache but I imagine many of you are much more creative than I am and will come up with something that makes sense and has cachet!  

I wanted to share some of the (potentially) more applicable tips that I found.  I’m very aware that not everything is going to work for everyone.  Every teacher is going to approach their “Zoomers and Roomers” a bit differently.  So, with that said, here are some tips from other teachers around the world (in no particular order):

(Important note: In some cases I’ve included a Twitter handle to give proper acknowledgement of someone’s ideas.  I, however, don’t know any of these people…I just thought they had good ideas worth sharing.  This is not an endorsement of the Tweeter, but rather the idea they shared in one particular Tweet.)

“Design for the (Zoomers).  Every time I struggle, it’s because I haven’t kept that starting point in mind.” – @HansDoerr…something along these lines was mentioned many times.

“Reach out if you need help immediately.” – @OCTDickinson

“Have (Zoomers) confirm that they can see and hear. Mix it up to call on both types of learners.” – @jc4_ed

“Instructionally pace yourself!” – @rhonore36

“Try to maintain it as one social space, one class, and not treat (Zoomers) and (Roomers) as separate.” – @yerfologist

“Clear and specific procedures for (Zoomers) and (Roomers) is key.  I often present these side by side.  What does this look like if I’m (a Zoomer) or (a Roomer)? This gives the students clear guidelines for how to be successful.” – @IamMissRamos

“I wish I had my students practice where to find things.” – @MrsIverson801

“The 1st day is the hardest and you can do it!!” – @Teacherkknudson

Here are a few more things that came up multiple times in all sorts of different tweets:

Give yourself grace.  Give yourself permission to make mistakes.

Have a student keep an eye on the Google Meet/chat to make note if someone has raised a hand or asked a question.

Be intentional about calling on both groups of students.

Remember that Zoomers may not be able to hear all of the discussion in the classroom.  Repeat questions or statements made by Roomers.

Have a clear agenda and share it daily.

I know there are a lot more things to consider but I wanted to share some of the good ideas I’ve seen.  As you come together with your teams and continue this planning process, please don’t hesitate to share good ideas you’ve had for adapting to the “new normal”.  

As always, thank you for all that you do to help our students find success. It is inspiring to see all of the work that you do and all of the growth our students are showing!!!  

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