Teachers and students experience distance learning

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Spring break for students is over but because of the coronavirus, classrooms look very different.

For both students and teachers it’s a learning curve that varies school to school and from teacher to teacher.

While most Hawaii residents are under a stay at home order nearly 14,000 teachers, and some 170,000 public and charter school students returned not to the classroom but to online learning over the past two weeks.

And for all of them there’s a whole new lesson to be learned.

“This is definitely new environment for everyone,” said Hawaii State Teachers Association President Cory Rosenlee. “It’s not something we expected but I think that our teachers have really risen up to the challenge”.

Rosenlee admits it’s a daunting task to bring education into the homes of so many students especially when some have no homes.

Others have either limited or even no access to computers.

“The biggest thing right now is because there’s inequity in the system what is the biggest priorities,” said Rosenlee. “As we want to make sure no child will be graded and therefore potentially fail a class because they didn’t have access to the resources.”

Waikoloa elementary school teacher Jennie Hancock says every day is a learning experience for her children, and for herself.

“We’re lucky that we’ve had three quarters to establish relationships with their students,” said Waikoloa Elementary School teacher Jennie Hancock. “And that were able to continue at home. Like I said we have a lot of students that have no access to computers or the internet.”

While some teachers understand and use technology better than others Hancock says all of them are coming together to help teach one another.

“The amount of collaboration between teachers virtually whether it’s email or zoom meetings whatever has been really really amazing,” Hancock added.

The hope now is that both students and teachers will one day look back at this time as a great lesson in both perseverance and learning.

“I’m so proud of the teachers across the street come up with amazing ways to find creative ways to reach out to their students,” said Rosenlee. “Whether it’s online or creating interesting activities. And they’re all adapting/”

“As a parent and a teacher I’m hoping that our kids are going to come out of this more resilient and with a lot more self reflection and knowing themselves a lot better than when they went into it,” said Hancock.

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