By Stacie Ball
When I took my first education class over twenty years ago, I never thought I would be teaching online all day, let alone for weeks on end! I am immeasurably grateful to my school corporation for providing the tools and training to make this possible. I can’t imagine where we would be without the capability to provide education, stability, and connection for our students.
One of the things I’ve learned during this time of crisis is to be thankful for as much as I can. Sometimes I work for hours on one little lesson and get frustrated thinking, “If I just had my class with me, I could explain this in 5 minutes,” or “If we were in school, I could have just made copies of this activity instead of spending hours creating a virtual version.” Then, I remember that maybe there’s a greater purpose for this. I have the ability to check in on my students each day. I can make sure they are ok, have food to eat, have someone to talk to, and provide a sense of normalcy. I know I would be worried about each and every one of them if I had no way to communicate with them.
There are good and bad things about e-learning. The best thing about it is not only that I can communicate with students, but I get to use the restroom whenever I want! The worst thing is sometimes it takes a lot of brainpower and problem solving to even come up with an idea of how to teach a concept over the internet instead of in person. When something doesn’t work, you can’t just pull out a story or back-up worksheet. There’s definitely a lot more to it than the 5-minute video you see in the lesson!