J. Mason Tomlin elementary art show a success despite COVID

Even the teacher had to adjust to Zoom, among other tech issues

Because of COVID, J Mason Tomlin Art teacher Nicole Jordan had to teach two-thirds of the school year through zoom. Special to the Sun

The J. Mason Tomlin Elementary School art show is normally held in person on the bottom floor of the school. 

Because of COVID, it went virtual on June 8 and was dubbed Zooming Into Art.

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Students were able to send their work through email.

“I set up a Google classroom assignment so the students can take pictures of their artwork and send it to me through that,” said art teacher Nicole Jordan.

When she found out she would be teaching her art classes through Zoom for the 2020-’21 school year, Jordan cried. 

“I wasn’t sure how I would teach a hands-on class through a computer, but as I got the hang of it, I really got to know the kids even more,” she explained. “They were coming to me from their homes, their parents’ work, or a grandparent’s house.”

Jordan has taught art for 17 total years, the past 11 at Tomlin. For the bulk of her career, she has done some freelance artwork. 

“I have done murals at people’s homes, businesses, and a forest mural at JMT (Tomlin) before I got the job, which is in the main hallway,” Jordan explained. 

She teaches every student in the school, so she gets to know them on a more personal level.

“In some ways, I felt grateful that I got to see them and their whole faces through Zoom, because it’s hard to recognize people with a mask on,” Jordan noted. 

Since she isn’t too tech savvy, Jordan got help from some co-workers who are. It took her all of September to adjust to Zoom and the newly discovered technology. 

“I knew the lagging was frustrating, not only for myself, but also for my students,” she acknowledged. “When a student had problems with the internet, she and her students named it the ‘glitch.’”

Jordan said naming internet issues eliminated the stress of such glitches.

Tomlin runs on an a.m. to p.m. schedule, so the children would come into the building for a third of the school year. Jordan admitted that she can’t wait to teach in person during the upcoming school year.

“Coming back in person, I would never trade that, and I got through Zoom,” she said. “But I do love seeing my kids in person.”

To view student artwork from this year’s gallery, visit http://njordanjmt.weebly.com/

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