Amid COVID-19, teachers innovate, juggle needs of 'Zoomies' and 'roomies'
ATLANTA — Early this fall, after a widely disparaged spring semester online caused by the coronavirus pandemic, many schools across Georgia decided to return to the classroom while offering a separate online experience to the children of parents who refused.Given the criticism in some places that online programs are separate and sometimes unequal, some school districts are trying another way that seems obvious in concept, if difficult in execution: teaching kids in school and at home together, at the same time.It is a method that is so new and unstudied that it has no universally accepted name...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
This teacher uses the didgeridoo to help kids get through online classes, one breath at a time
SEATTLE — Beth Anderson, a mother of two, suddenly found herself back in middle school music class this fall.When school started, her sixth grade daughter Catelyn sat by her side while they learned and worked at the kitchen table. For the most part, Beth, an administrator at Seattle Colleges, tuned middle school out.But she couldn’t tune out Cuauhtemoc Escobedo, a 30-year Seattle Public Schools (SPS) veteran who teaches music and band at Eckstein Middle School. Through his virtual classroom, the tone of his voice, one that Beth said makes you sit down and listen, caught her ear. And “now I’m p...
The Seattle Times
'Log off! Log off!' teacher orders students when sexual assault livestreamed during first grader's remote learning class
CHICAGO — An 18-year-old man out on bond for a gun case was held without bail after he livestreamed himself during a sexual act with a 7-year-old first grader on break from her Chicago Public Schools remote learning class on Thursday prosecutors said.Catrell A. Walls, of the West Chesterfield neighborhood on the South Side, was arrested Thursday afternoon shortly after 3:30 p.m., after he was seen molesting the girl, police said.Walls, charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a victim under 13 years old, appeared for a bond hearing Saturday afternoon before Judge Charles Beach.Police ...
Thousands of students and teachers return to Miami classrooms as COVID concerns linger
MIAMI — More than 22,000 students across the fourth largest school district in the U.S. returned to classrooms Monday morning for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic upended daily life in the spring and forced teachers and pupils in Miami-Dade Public Schools to move learning online at home.Schools reopened their doors for pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, and for students on a modified curriculum who have opted for in-person learning. Another 40,000 students are expected to return Wednesday under the district’s staggered reopening plan.Families who opted to send their kids to the classr...
With the pandemic, parents and educators embrace outdoor preschools. Many hope the move will be permanent
CHICAGO — On a hazy September afternoon near a willow tree, a boy with a bright red backpack spotted something slimy on the ground.“Hello, all the mushrooms,” he said, gently tapping the fungus, trying not to crush any as his small feet moved through the grass.A teacher asked why they might be growing in that spot. The boy thought for a moment. “Because it’s shady and wet!”That was just one lesson for the group of kids at the Chicago Botanic Garden Nature Preschool, a program that’s part of the growing field of nature-based early childhood education.Nature preschools were increasing before the...
Substitute teachers are in high demand for school districts trying to fill vacancies in a pandemic
PHILADELPHIA — Dawn Pittman retired from teaching in 2013 after more than three decades. But Pittman has no plans to give up her passion — even in a pandemic. When Camden resumes in-person learning, possibly in January, she hopes to answer the call as a substitute.“I absolutely love teaching,” said Pittman, 58, of Merchantville, New Jersey.Retired Philadelphia teacher Janice Richardson has already been getting those calls. She says she has turned down lucrative offers from parents and districts — as much as $2,000 a week to substitute-teach, something she hasn’t done since 2016.“I get calls ev...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Fearing COVID-19, educators go up against colleges to teach remotely
ATLANTA — Crystal Robinson and Vanessa Williams aren’t teaching at Athens Technical College this semester because of a dispute that highlights the ongoing battle in Georgia and other states between educators and administrators over allowances for employees who are worried about being infected with COVID-19 to work remotely.Both instructors submitted letters several months ago from their physicians saying they had medical conditions that could increase their chances of being infected with the disease if they were on campus.The college says the instructors were slow or didn’t respond to informat...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution