Grade 2 French immersion teacher Stacey Bock turned to cooking after looking for creative ways to keep her students engaged
A local French teacher has become a YouTube celebrity among her students over the past year.
After teachers and students across the province were forced to take their learning online last spring, Stacey Bock, a Grade 2 French immersion teacher at Forest Hill Public School in Midhurst, began looking for ways creative ways to keep her students engaged.
“We had been online for a while and I wanted to find something more, something fun, to engage them that I couldn’t do in class,” says Bock..
The Barrie resident finally came up with the idea of doing a live cooking class with her students.
That first class, she admits, didn’t go exactly as planned.
“We were all excited. We were going to make grilled cheese — it was going to be amazing. I brought my computer into my kitchen…and a whole bunch of them were all in their kitchens,” she says. “Then after a while I wondered why no one was saying anything.”
Bock quickly realized that his computer had lost its internet connection and the students had lost their live stream.
“Apparently my kitchen is some kind of wifi dead zone and I didn’t know it and I kept losing connectivity. I was rushing back and they were having a dance party. … They thought it was the best anything,” she says, adding that one of her students even pulled out a speaker for the music.
Bock realized that if she wanted to pursue her new business, she had to find a better way. She soon began pre-recording the cooking classes.
“I decided to modify it and make it a bit more elegant. Then the following Friday they were all in their kitchen and I was just playing and taking a break. I didn’t want to have to go through that again,” she says.
Each week, Bock offered a new cooking class to share with his class. These videos are now published on his own YouTube channel.
“I was thinking, what could we do that isn’t too difficult in terms of the ingredients and that the kids can actually make or help out in the kitchen?”
Creating the videos was a lot of fun, but Bock admits she had to get to grips with the idea of making mistakes first.
“Even when I flip the grilled cheese and it crumbles, I laugh. … (Mistakes) happen,” she says. “It was to keep it interesting for them, but it’s also to keep it interesting for me. It’s something different to do, and it’s very important to show them that you can integrate French outside the classroom.
Online cooking classes ranged from quesadillas and tacos to grilled cheese and even ice cream cake, but Bock admits simplicity in the kitchen wasn’t just for kids.
“I am not a cook. I am very bad at cooking. My husband is the head of our house and I help. He thought of all the things (I) chose to do (I) chose cooking? He thought it was the funniest thing ever,” she says. “I do things that 2nd graders can do, so I should be able to handle them!” »
Since launching the YouTube channel last year for her own class, Bock has added more videos, including art lessons as well as worksheets, which she says are available for other teachers who might need quick resources or lessons to use.
“I try to give them something that’s just printed and played. I have stuff that teachers can buy, but I also have free stuff that they can pick up for free,” she says.
While Bock prefers to see her students face-to-face, should schools be forced to go back online, she said BarrieToday she will definitely come back to create more cooking videos.
“I was thinking about what we could do next. …I guess Kraft Dinner! I even have an apron now with my logo… but I think the kitchen ones I’m going to run out of ideas. If I can find simpler recipes I will, but it would more likely be art that kids can make because that’s definitely more my forte.