Students and teachers struggle with remote education
That's Jimmy Fallon on the tonight show earlier this week. I think voicing the thoughts of so many families. The song was a nod to national teacher appreciation. Week which ends today. But you'd probably go on all year long like schools across the country. The week looked very different compared to years past instead of apples on their desks or gift cards from parents teachers might have received an Apple Emoji or some on then mo. You know why. It's because forty seven states and the district of Columbia have ordered or recommended school closures for the rest of the school year. Teachers across the country have taken their lessons online to try and weather this pandemic so today will some of these teachers struggles and successes in navigating remote learning. I'm Dr Sanjay Gupta. Cnn's chief medical correspondent and this is corona virus fact versus fiction. We had really try to make everything work in the virtual world and that's challenging to do because most teachers like myself we don't sign up for that. We sign up for the interaction. We sign up for the collaboration and we sign up for those human moments that you can't really replicate online. That's Chris deer. Two Thousand Twenty Louisiana teacher of the year and a finalist for the two thousand twenty national teacher of the year. I teach at Shawmut High School in Louisiana right outside of New Orleans. Dear teaches world history to seniors and AP human geography to Freshman. I didn't know what that was. He said it's sort of like anthropology inspired to teach partly because of a formative personal experience. I was in high school when Hurricane Katrina hit. I was a senior. It was our second week. It disrupted the entire region down here. I was forced to Texas. I stayed in hotels in shelters in bounced around different schools. And I missed out on a lot of big events that a lot of people look forward to their senior year sound. Familiar deer has a pretty good idea of what is current students. Probably feel. It's a time when you're supposed to be celebrating all of your hard work your dedication. Your accomplishments When your family supposed to watch you walk across that stage cheer? So it's it's a time that you'll never get to Redo and you'll never get back and it's not just a loss for dear students. Some of them will be the first in their families to graduate from high school and the ceremony would have been meaningful to the relatives as well. Dear has students who are also dreamers undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children Andy has students. They're working essential jobs while they also balance online classes. Learning Online. Might seem easy enough if you're a student with the computer or the Internet but deer also has students who didn't have the luxury of these tools so a lot of students that originally didn't have Internet when this happened. We were Distributed work in packets in just literally papers out when we were distributing food but my district personally has been a given chromebooks out to students who need them and trying to collaborate with local organizations to get hot spots to get kids connected so I think teachers all across the country are doing everything they can to get kids online and to keep that that learning going as Peron's a community school in Phoenix Arizona has also handed out chromebooks in Wi fi to some of its students. But that's not all the school is providing. I think a lot of US forget how schools are to our communities. Even if you're not a student there Hannah Wysong teaches science and English at Esperanza mostly to low income students. She has helped distribute food boxes and gift. Cards to grocery stores. But as this pandemic drags on why song in her colleagues are looking ahead. To long-term challenges families might face food is available and a lot of schools in food. Banks is. This has gone on for a couple of months and parents are not working or working less The next set that working right now is to build a fund for rental assistance. And that's just the creative problem solving. Why Song has been a part of outside the classroom after students have been set up with food and Wi fi is when her real job and the real connection begins and these teachers have come up with all kinds of new ways to do that as well something that we normally at our school? This House monthly family nights with movies are dinner or games or whatever it may be and we were really mourning the loss of family nights and we decided to do it. Virtual dance parties so we got a local Dj from a radio station. And then we invited all of the families to get on zoom there. Were I think between forty five and fifty people on between families and staff and pretty cute to see a bunch of little squares of third graders? Dancing Chris Wyckoff who teaches American history to eleventh graders? North Carolina has taken advantage of our reliance on the Internet to send his students. Some encouragement been sending out digital cards. To let them know that I still see you. I still see your work. I still see you're working hard. Wyckoff has been proud of how well his students at the Johnston County career and technical leadership academy have taken online classes after all they could easily just turned the video off and go do something else online learning you know it has its it has its good and its bad. Even depending on the type of learner you are in a lot of our students are capable of making the adjustment at home all of those the social and emotional atmosphere of home versus the social emotional atmosphere at school all of those things combined to either create atmosphere for success or failure for for the students. Chris dineen this is another. Chris said there were hiccups using video-conferencing at first we had zoom bomb the first or second date but his middle school students at Albuquerque Academy in New Mexico. Have come around. The students themselves had to adapt to a totally different style of teaching and they've actually had to become somewhat more accountable for their own behavior. Because of course we can't see them and monitor them in the ways that we normally do. Laurie Abrahams finds this challenging to. She's a special education teacher on Long Island and works with three to five year olds. Who have special needs during normal times? Work incredibly physical and requires personalized interactions with each student. These days she struggles to get her students to sit still in front of the camera. All kids do well with schedule. Especially the kids with special needs listening issues and attending issues. They really need that. They need that routine. And the you know it's very hard. It's very hard for them but like everyone else. Abrahams has come up with ways to make it work. In fact she borrowed one method of calming her students. Down from children's Yoga certification course. What I'm doing with my fingers touching my thumb to forefinger middle finger rain finger and pinkie and so you have them do that. So it's four touches and then you just say peace begins with me and they understand that peace means quiet and then we keep doing it at any time. You feel anxious or that. You need to calm down you can just you can. Just move your fingers like that. It's thoughtful it's innovative. It's what's necessary the teachers we spoke to said they've mostly worked out the kinks of remote learning and they feel optimistic about finishing the year apart from their students but in the long run. They're still not so sure. I think these kids are young enough. That if it's just four months in the scheme of along is this is not gonNa make the biggest difference because they didn't have four months of preschool. I think that in the fall if kids can't go back to school if they have to learn online. I think that's going to you know really impact this whole generation. This won't surprise you but Chris Dear Louisiana teacher whose own senior year was interrupted by Hurricane Katrina this pandemic once again highlights the need for more investment in education. I know a lot of times when the economy starts to Tank a bit. The first thing that gets cut is education and people might say well. Why do we need as much you know money for education budgets when they do things virtually and whatnot but at this time? I feel like we need more because we need more counselors. We need more. Social workers we need more therapists need smaller classes. And that's how we're going to get through this. These five teachers said the feedback. They've gotten from students and parents has mostly been positive but during the strange difficult national teacher appreciation. Week it's nice for them to hear that their efforts haven't gone unnoticed so since they can't hug their teachers in person this year we got some amazing shouts from students all over. Who want their teachers to know that their students are grateful? My Name is Dalton Davis. I am seven years old from flawless. Oregon. I want to say hi to my first grade teacher. Mrs and Mr Hello. My name is MIRA sing and I am in seventh grade. I would like to thank all of my amazing teachers. Hi My name is Leah. And I'm a fourth grader. I want to give a shot at to my awesome teacher Mr Festival. He is there every day with a smile. Hi My name is Cassie from Whittier California. And thank you to all the teachers especially my Fourth Grade Teacher Mrs Cutler and I'm Kassy's MOM Krista I also WanNa say on behalf of my fourteen year old David who has autism. We appreciate the Special Ed teachers like Mrs Gain. Thanks hi I'M AMELIA. Ham seven years old. I'm in second grade. I have the best teachers and I can't wait the virus to beautiful so I could go back to school.