Distance Learning for Students: A New World For Both Teachers And Students

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By Rob Fischer

Among all of the adjustments that every sector of the population has had to make, in order to work around the obstacles created by the Covid-19 pandemic, education has had to improvise on the fly as much as any other facet of society.

The Country Herald interviewed one Manteno Middle School instructor, who wished to remain anonymous, as we asked what adjustments have had to be made, and what expectations have been created by the current need to teach, via distance.

We asked where are instructors coming up with ideas for distance learning?

“There are many different resources that the team is using to come up with ideas for distance learning. As a team, we are looking at the standards and skills that we have covered thus far in class and identifying areas that students can use some extra time to review prior to moving into new content. As a team we share ideas with each other daily and work together to collaborate and create materials that best meet the needs of our student population” said the instructor.

We also asked what some of the challenges are, moving forward?

“The main challenge will be ensuring that every student is supported in the best way possible from afar. There are many times that communication can be confusing and information can be lost in translation so to speak. I’m hopeful that with clear communication among the district, staff, parents, and students we can address any misunderstandings and misconceptions students have in regards to content while still supporting students growth and learning, said the teacher.

We finally inquired about the staff’s expectation that distance learning will satisfy the requirements for the appropriate grade level being taught?

“At this time, distance learning is the only option that we have to provide continuity in the curriculum, and that the students and I are approaching it with a positive mindset in the hopes that we can continue to learn in person and in school later on this year.

The instructor finally added a final thought, that perhaps, could be said by many teachers across the country, and across the world.

“My final thought is that teachers in our community miss our students terribly and want to do the best that we can to support them. Any questions that students or parents have throughout this process, please communicate to teachers, staff, and the district”.

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