NORTH BERWICK, Maine —
Jared Wilbur has been delivering the morning announcements at Noble High School for the school year of 2019-2020. When school let out on March 13, Mr. Wilbur thought students being able to hear the sound of his voice might be a welcomed reassurance. Now instead of hearing his voice over the intercom, students watch him on YouTube.
“I have a really high threshold for embarrassment,” Wilbur says that's why he ventures he was asked to deliver the announcements.
What used to be just a couple of minutes, has turned into videos near ten minutes most days, which include school information students need and a lot more they perhaps do not need but find entertaining. Students email their reactions to Mr. Wilbur's videos and he talks responds to them in the daily videos. His opinions are plentiful. Wilbur rants about music, movies, and literature. (Don't get him started on Star Trek) He features pictures, videos, and emails from students.
"I wanted this to be collaborative," Wilbur explains.
And he's not doing the videos alone. Other teachers are chiming in with segments like the word of the day, this day in history and pet of the day.
The talented Mr. Wilbur has posted more than two dozen videos. The first one garnered more than 900 views, much to Wilbur’s surprise. The numbers have dwindled since then but remain more than 250 most days.
“I have a sinking suspicion that it's like 12 students and then the rest adults,” Wilbur chuckles.
The videos take up a considerable amount of time for the ed-tech who is still video chatting with students to help them with their work. He collects his ideas throughout the day and then spends about 30 minutes in front of his cell phone talking to himself.
In the evening it takes him about three hours to edit the videos down to something “usable.”
“I'm pretty comfortable talking to myself I'm rather long-winded.”
Wilbur says talking on a stage to an audience who can't really talk back like he has done as the lead singer of a band for over a decade has helped him.
While not all the emails he receives are positive, he enjoys the fun teasing that students are sending his way.
“My whole purpose was like to make them laugh,” explains Wilbur. Even though he enjoys being silly, Wilbur knows that students have a lot on their plates right now.
“Every kid has a drastically different situation at home, some incredibly positive some really not. The most important thing right now is the kid's mental health and their safety and making sure everybody's in a good place,” Wilbur explains.
He is hoping his videos are helping.
Check out all the videos here.