As a teacher’s aide in a kindergarten classroom in Sacramento, switching to a distance learning model (Zoom) was very challenging. Mind you I only had one student to work with, but keeping her interested and focused was a major challenge. Trying to teach reading without being able to see what she was reading was difficult and frustrating for both of us. As a child that struggled with attention problems , it was easy for her to hop up and leave the computer as she excitedly showed me those things around her that interested her and that she wanted to share with me. This happened most when she was not understanding our lesson. I tried to have maps and stories and hands on materials ready at all times to refocus her attention. This style of learning almost required two full time adults….one to teach, and another to stand beside her and keep her seated and focused. When the district proposes full time distance learning as an option for some of our students, I cringe. This is not an optimum was to reach little ones. And when the district proposes going back into the classroom, I also cringe. How can we possibly keep children “socially distanced,” germ free, and safe? And how can we protect our teachers from illness? It is a dilemma of epic proportion. I am glad it is not my decision.
Submitted by Kathryn Lucas, Sacramento County – Natomas.