When schools in Washington were closed by the governor, many teachers and school officials had just a small amount of time to prepare for a big change in life.
While the school district grappled with feeding kids who had relied on breakfast and lunches, teachers also wanted to still reach out to their students.
“I wondered how I could reach kids as a music teacher and as a gifted program teacher,” longtime Gess Elementary teacher Jeff Kersey said.
“The obvious answer was email until I considered all the rural families without high speed access. YouTube streams well on phones as well as computers, and most people have cell phone access.”
Kersey began his own YouTube Channel “Mr. Kersey’s Music Class” which now has 77 subscribers. Kersey has a super technical process in getting his videos produced.
“I am super technical in my production studio,” Kersey said. “I sit in the kitchen or ‘library’ and open my laptop. Then I hit the camera button and sing. I’m not happy with the sound of the guitar so I have ordered a USB mic, then I’ll be super technical.”
Kersey has already posted several videos, many of which are songs that current and former students probably recognize from him singing in class. Since the creation of YouTube Channel, Kersey’s videos have been seen by hundreds of people.
“The feedback has been amazing,” Kersey said. “I couldn’t believe it when parents sent me videos of their kids singing and dancing while watching me on a smart TV. I was shocked that what I considered a phone video was blown up to 55.
“The most surprising reaction has been all my former students reaching out and sharing their memories of singing some of the songs. Of course I could do without the comments like ‘He’s still teaching?’”
While most of the vidoes are a song of the day, Kersey said he is now brainstorming with his wife ways to do music theory lessons from home.
“She has been using Class Dojo with her preschoolers but the site is experiencing some issues with all the people now accessing it.”
When asked if he might continue this channel once everything returns to normal.
“We’ll see,” he said. “A little Mr. Kersey may go a long ways.”
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