Austin ISD teacher discusses challenges of teaching virtual and in-person classes

Education

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Independent School District has about 5,500 teachers, but almost 1,000 submitted medical accommodations to remain teaching at home.

“I was nervous to go back,” said a teacher who wished to remain anonymous.

The elementary school teacher reported to her school on day one.

“I do have 10 kids in my class so it does feel a little crowded in here and I don’t think that I would want to have anymore than that,” the teacher said.

Students and teachers are required to wear masks unless they are eating lunch and there is spacing between each student in the classroom.

“It definitely is a task to make sure the kids keep their masks on,” the teacher said. “I was policing. Wear your mask. Keep your mask on. Pull your mask up.”

Another issue the teacher brought up was the challenge of dealing with students in the classroom and online.

“I do feel like it is hard to give attention to the kids who are at home and an equal amount of attention to the kids who are here,” the teacher said. “I have kids wanting to talk on the computer and kids wanting to talk in the classroom and so we are working together to raise your hand and take some turns. I finally got the hang of the virtual learning and then it was a whole different ball game having to throw in both at the same time.”

For the most part, the teacher tells us her kids followed the social distancing guidelines.

“In the classroom they did a really good job of staying in their seats,” the teacher said. “At the playground we did have to keep a really close watch and remind them no tag. Don’t touch your friends.”

While things look different the teacher says she is doing her best to make sure the kids are still learning.

“We are all just doing the best we can,” the teacher said. “I do feel like the administration, at least at my school, has been supportive and helpful with anything we do need.”

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