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What have teachers learned from two weeks of distance learning?

Posted at 1:31 PM, Oct 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-05 15:31:20-04

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — Due to COVID-19 cases, Granger High School dismissed in-person classes almost two weeks ago Monday and shifted instruction online for its 3,300 students.

With COVID cases up, the halls emptied out.

Within 24 hours, the 150 dedicated teachers here at Granger had to make the switch to remote learning, and some say the extra workload is worth every minute they get with students.

“The number one thing we all take into consideration on a daily basis is student safety,” said Assistant Principal, Joshua Adams. “You have to make sure the students are safe.”

English teacher Candice Green knew she’d have to switch to remote learning eventually.

“Last year it was just kind of a surprise and we were learning technologies but this time I kind of came into it focusing on getting them to be independent learners from the get go,” Green said, and admits it’s been an adjustment. “It’s still tough. Some of the students just disappear and no matter how many times you message them and call their parents and send emails we still don’t hear from some of them.”

She’s come up with a creative way to keep students engaged.

“I learned Loom program and Screencastify and I have set up a YouTube channel to help engage with my students through video." Green says students can access it anytime, and complete work on their own time.

“I worked harder in distance learning than I did when I was in the building because in the building I could just say what I want and now I have to type it up and make a video and edit the video and it’s just a lot more work,” Green said. “But at the same time I do feel like it’s reaching more kids than what we had before.”

“I love teaching,” said drama teacher Jana Timson. “It’s my favorite thing and I love interacting with students.”

“We have some of the best teachers in the state. How about we say the world, the best teachers in the world here in Granger High,” Assistant Principal Adams said. “They’re really showing it on a daily basis.”

Students who prefer in class teaching are expected to be back to Granger High on Thursday.