The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected many of our day-to-day activities. Attending social gatherings, celebrating birthdays, weddings and other special life events, going to work, even grocery shopping – we’ve had to drastically adjust the way we approach these endeavors in the name of safety. But as parents of school-age children know, perhaps none of these adjustments has been so keenly felt as the change in our schools.
At the onset of the pandemic, many schools found themselves in completely new territory, as they strived to accommodate sudden remote learning for the remainder of the school year. Teachers, administrators and parents worked hard to make sure students were able to continue their education during this uncertain time.
Now a new school year is upon us – and with it, many new adjustments. With many schools offering an option for virtual instruction, back-to-school has never looked quite like this – for teachers, parents or students. To learn more about virtual classrooms (and get advice from the pros on how to be successful in this new setting), we wanted to hear directly from teachers on the front lines.
We spoke with two teachers from International Leadership of Texas (ILTexas) schools in Houston: Reshunda Green, a third grade math teacher and Grade Level Administrator at ILTexas Westpark K-8, and Charles Boclair, a fifth grade bilingual math teacher at ILTexas Orem K-8.
Green and Boclair both noted preparations for this virtual school year looked quite a bit different than in the past.
“In years past, I would’ve spent my summer purchasing games and activities, printing and laminating things for hands-on activities,” said Green. “Instead, this summer was spent adapting what I have for a virtual environment, getting to know the new technology and programs, and developing ways to keep variety, interest and engagement up in my classroom.”