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Our teachers throughout the district have been undergoing a strenuous period of change. Their position as educators is essential- it is important that the children in the district continue to have an excellent education- yet the inability to gather in large groups has affected them in a large way. Jessica Huff is one of our many teachers who has found herself adjusting to a new work environment. She has risen to the challenge.
All of the lessons that Mrs. Huff has scheduled are delivered through Zoom, a video conference app that almost everyone is now familiar with. She delivers 45-minute lectures on the topics in her curriculum. Her lessons include phonics, mathematics, history, and anything else you would find in your average elementary classroom. Mrs. Huff has dedicated herself to creating an environment that her students will find warm and welcoming. As you watch her online lessons, her teaching set up is all on the camera. Rather than feeling like it was shot in her home office, it brings a small part of the classroom to each of her student’s laptops in their own homes.
These longer lectures help create a baseline for students as they learn new skills and hone their current abilities. Mrs. Huff has not forgotten the importance of working with students on a one-on-one basis, however. She meets with smaller groups of students throughout the day, catering to their individual needs. In these small group meetings, Mrs. Huff is able to help the children make and meet self-made goals, as well as answer questions on a personal level.
The way the children’s lives have been disrupted is one of the biggest obstacles that Mrs. Huff is working on overcoming. For most children, there are few things more exciting than a snow day. The thought of staying home all day when they should be attending school is a dream come true. However, like a decadent chocolate dessert, things that are delightful in small doses can be miserable when experienced non-stop.
While adjusting to the new norm, the parent’s role in home education has become more important than ever. Small group and one-on-one Zoom sessions can only provide so much guidance. It has now fallen to the parents to be the front line of education. Mrs. Huff has said that parents have been the biggest allies in this effort.
This time in isolation has been unusual for everyone, but it is incredible to see the effort from teachers, students, and parents alike! Someday, hopefully soon, the students will return to classrooms throughout the district. In the meantime, it is reassuring to see teachers like Mrs. Huff and all of the other incredible educators adjust with resources like Zoom, parental involvement, and daily checklists. She, and so many teachers, love this work and miss their students!