Online and remote learning has been very challenging for both educators and students. Especially from younger students who still need to be paid attention individually. When teachers used to always be able to walk up to a student and tell if they’re facing a problem, now they can’t do that at all.
Terry Kinder has felt overwhelmed and decided to pour out her thoughts in a tearful video.
Unable to speak, Kinder was teary-eyed as she spoke inside her car. “I sit here in the school parking lot. It’s not even 7. And why am I here so early?”
“Because I have to re-read a stupid test manual that doesn’t make sense. To take the district assessment to pre-test my students on a subject they’ve never taken,” she revealed. “I teach civics — it’s not math, it’s not language arts, where you’re measuring growth from a previous year. They’ve never learned civics before, and I’m supposed to test their knowledge ahead of time because the district says so.”
“The district says you have to validate the tests by watching every single student from a camera. Half the students, when they turn their camera on, it kicks them out. So then they say, ‘Well, OK, then those kids just can’t take them.’ So, now we only need the scores from the kids who actually have cameras, or can turn them on.”
She asked, “What’s the point? It doesn’t make sense. It adds all this unnecessary stress and pressure and frustration, for the teachers and the students… It’s just never-ending.”
Kinder continues to talk about how her students have a hard time concentrating because their parents would make them do chores and babysit. With the limited amount of time she gets to get them to focus, she doesn’t want them to ‘take stupid tests’ and instead learn the materials she’s prepared.
She also wrote an open letter where she poured her heart out on online learning hurdles.
Kinder’s school appears to have been using Microsoft Team where admin permission is less enforced compared to Zoom. She explains how it’s hard to keep the class quiet as she can’t mute students and things got better when she switched to Zoom. But even so, technological issues still arise.
She wrote, “I try to stay happy and positive for the students. I pretend I know how to solve all of their technical issues. I spend more than half my class time troubleshooting technical issues.”
“I am mentally exhausted from the endless technology problems and glitches that I need to solve on the spot with kindness and empathy. I am not an IT expert. Even with the unimaginable amount of hours I have spent watching YouTube tutorials on all things Microsoft Teams I am still not grasping the half of it.”
She also mentioned that this remote learning is not working. Students get distracted all the time from their parents, siblings, and entertainment such as Netflix. She added, “This is not a classroom. This is a nightmare.”
The School district has taken notice of her plea and replied to GMA after she was interviewed there.
Speaking to GMA, the wrote back, “We invited Ms. Kinder to be part of this task force when she presented to our school board members last month. Additional members include more teachers, parents, students, technology employees, and others.”