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Education in the Time of Coronavirus

Education in the Time of Coronavirus

March 24, 2020 by Herron-Riverside High School

Times are changing rapidly. By the time we refresh our browsers, there will no doubt be updates and new mandates regarding COVID-19. At Herron and Herron-Riverside High Schools, we understand that these rapid changes, and the sudden school closures, have brought on some fear and anxiety. This is one reason we acted quickly and organized e-learning for our students. We know that our students will benefit from structure and continued learning throughout this uncertain time.

Our teachers have valiantly led their students in continued learning during this first week by using YouTube for lectures, one-on-one conversations through email, small group Zoom meetings for office hours, and even Instagram stories to keep the mood light. We asked teachers how they are feeling about this new educational landscape, and how their students are adapting to the changes.

Chasten Bear, Math teacher at Herron-Riverside High School:

While I appreciate how we are doing e-learning for our students, I want it to be known that nothing will truly replace live, in-class teaching. I’ve been using tools during my office hours that allows me to do some of that live teaching, and I can see my students feeling better whenever I do that. E-learning is better than no learning, but e-learning will never replace us as teachers, and our students as students… who we miss very much!

From Diana Allen, English teacher at Herron-Riverside High School:

I’m so proud of the scholars who have reached out to proactively ask for help, especially our freshmen; demonstrating self-advocacy in this way is a vital life skill. I’m grateful for their commitment to early communication, which helps me troubleshoot quickly and keeps them on track to earn an English credit. 

From Susan Scroggins, English teacher at Herron High School:

I think it’s really important for students to not only know their teachers care that they continue learning but also to know that they can check in with their teachers every day. The daily office hour has been helpful so that students can continue to see and hear the teachers with whom they have spent almost an entire year developing a relationship. It provides stability and comfort to the students.

There’s lots of evidence for learning loss that happens over summer vacation, and what we are offering helps our students stay engaged in academic work which provides the structure and familiarity that are important for all kids regardless of their background. 

From Gary Wetzel, Social Studies teacher at Herron-Riverside High School:

A few Riverside economics scholars have been showing up to my office hours or emailing me about economic concepts we have recently learned about that they are seeing in these unusual times. A scholar sent a photo example showing a shortage and rationing of grocery essentials due to the demand shock of mass buying. We have kept the types of discussions we would have in class going as they see these examples in the restaurants, stores, etc.

From Tiffany Haulton, Art teacher at Herron High School

I miss my senior advisory kiddos. I was planning to share the photos each week I’ve taken over the four years of the Advisory. Now that we are not meeting in person, I’m sending students an email with the photo and a quick message with words of encouragement.

From Janelle Kozelichki, Science teacher at Herron High School:

It’s strange how much fulfillment I get out of being in front of, and actively engaging with, students on a day-to-day basis and being able to check in on them to make sure things are going ok, both at school and at home. Ultimately this is not that bad, but I’m really understanding the value of in-person teaching. Everyone is on a learning curve and I think the students/teachers who were not getting it initially have gotten their toes wet and now are ready to try out swimming.

From Jill Schroering, Resource teacher at Herron-Riverside High School:

I had the great privilege of reading through an article one-on-one with a Reading and Composition scholar, titled, “The Cultural Value of Education.”  It was inspirational to read and discuss it with him and to have the opportunity to ease this student’s burden when he was feeling a bit overwhelmed. 

Also heard during my office hours today from another student:

“I need my uniform!”

“I miss school.”

“Let me go on Haiku and check!” (Beautiful words I’ve waited to hear all year!!)