Educating from a Distance

NCCS staff adapts to remote learning

With+only+days+to+prepare%2C+NCCS+teachers+transferred+to+remote+learning.+Lessons+include+instructional+foundations%2C+uplifting+assignments%2C+and+encouraging+videos.

NCCS

With only days to prepare, NCCS teachers transferred to remote learning. Lessons include instructional foundations, uplifting assignments, and encouraging videos.

Megan Miller, Business Manager

Many new changes have come about as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools across the world are experiencing never before seen things, including Hoover High School.

Teachers have had to adapt their teaching styles in order to make sure students get the most out of remote learning. Hoover High School French teacher Miss Susan Schilling is no exception.

“I’ve had to cut [my lessons] down almost to the bare minimum of what exactly are the big things that I need them to know before the end of the year and before they’re able to move on to the next level,” she said.

One of the challenges she has had to overcome is that communicating with her students is more difficult.

“I can’t expect and demand perfection out of them simply because of the situation,” she said. “I’m not there to work with them everyday and help them. It takes ten times longer to do things because it’s either emails back and forth or something like that to correct their mistakes.”

During these unprecedented times, she knows it is important to keep her students engaged since they are not able to be together in class.

“I’m trying to give them some fun work to do, but a lot is going to be lost just because we’re not in class,” she said. 

While this situation is not ideal for most teachers, she is proud of the lessons she is putting out for her students to learn from.

“I feel like with the videos I am getting my point across,” she said. “I have had some kids say that they like the videos and it’s the next best thing to me teaching in class.”

Mrs. Tiffany Humphrey teaches second grade at Clearmount Elementary School. She misses being able to be in the classroom each day with her students.

“I miss all their smiling faces so much,” she said. “I just want to hug and reassure them in person that we will get through this.”

She has found that it has been helpful to establish a routine for her and her students to have success with remote learning.

“My typical teaching experience is to post a daily slide of what students are expected to do each day,” she said. “Throughout the day I check the sites to see how my students are scoring, meet with students on Google Meets, answer parent questions and meet with my colleagues to plan for upcoming weeks. I also post a daily reading of a chapter book I’m reading to the class.”

While it may be a difficult time, she has had a relatively positive experience with remote learning. 

“When it comes to remote learning, I feel most proud that my students are all participating,” she said. “This is a very unique time and not all families are home together. I have a lot of split families and shared parenting, and the families work very well together to make sure their children are not falling behind.”

Many teachers have taken advantage of this flipped classroom style. This includes seventh grade math teacher Mr. Jim York from North Canton Middle School.

“For a direct instruction lesson, students will be assigned a video tutorial on the topic,” he said. “Students may attend live office hours where I can show or explain any of the mathematics from the assignments. At the end of the unit, the Schoology test is given.”

It is not only difficult for students to learn from home, but teachers also face challenges while trying to teach from their homes.

“The most challenging part has been balancing work and home life as my two daughters, ages three and one, are at home,” he said.

As difficult as it may be, his students have done well adapting to this style of learning.

“Students have really risen to the challenge by completing assignments digitally and attending office hours when needed,” he said. “I’m proud of the students and how well they have responded to this situation.”

Teachers had to quickly transform their lessons to accommodate this change in learning, but in many ways they were already prepared for it. 

“Since the quarantine happened late in the school year, students were already in a routine and familiar with the technology and flow of the content, other than the office hours, which was quickly implemented,” York said. ♦