Transitions: Struggle…bloopers…success!

“Your life can change in an instant” is now an underrated statement for me.  Never, in my 18 years of teaching Culinary Arts, did I think I would be instructing students from my home!

As the news and decisions changed daily, I struggled to figure out a way to ensure my students would get the education for which they enrolled.  I reached out to all surrounding accredited culinary schools in Texas, and they all had the same questions – what do we do now?

As I slowly learned the Blackboard platform, I realized that I could still do my normal skills demonstrations at home, while the students watched and interacted live!  I am hardly a computer whiz, but with the support of my colleagues and kids (production assistants), the lessons continued every week.  My dining room became my filming studio for eight weeks – it’s ok, I’m not having any dinner parties anyway (J).  Live TV is no joke – I had bloopers, my dog was constantly under my feet waiting for crumbs to drop, and I even set off all my smoke detectors!

To connect with the community, students and alumni, I also livestreamed the demonstrations on the department Facebook page.  The interest and feedback were amazing – people have a lot of time on their hands at home – and I felt great teaching them something new that they could make for their families.

I have never worked harder at my job. But in the end, it was very much worth it.  I could not allow the education to stop just because our world is on hold for a little while.  My students deserve all I can give them so they will be successful in the workforce.  They overcame their obstacles to stay and finish out the class, so I did too.

I don’t recommend Culinary Arts education without face-to-face, but when it became necessary for my students to make it through eight weeks to finish a class, I did the best I could!