Going Mobile: Questions and Answers From An All E-learning Teacher

Morgan+Kleinaman+coaches+Cross+Country+all+while+dealing+with+this+year%E2%80%99s+e-learning+situation.+After+she+teaches+her+online+students%2C+she+drives+to+the+highschool+to+coach+her+team.+

Morgan Kleinaman coaches Cross Country all while dealing with this year’s e-learning situation. After she teaches her online students, she drives to the highschool to coach her team.

Olivia Figg, Print Staff

Q: How did you adjust to this role?

A: “I’d be lying if I said it was an easy adjustment. Many tears were shed in the beginning. It’s a huge change from planning, prepping and teaching in person to planning, prepping and teaching online. We used online resources when we could in the past, but first grade requires a lot of hands-on activities. So figuring out how to change almost everything my teammates were doing into something that could be done online, on top of teaching high ability for the first time, was very challenging and overwhelming. Thankfully I have one teammate who also switched to e-learning so planning and prepping together has been helpful. I’m also lucky that I have such great parents this year because that honestly made the difference for me. They have been so appreciative and understanding through all of this ‘new normal’.”

 

Q: Do you like teaching e-learning? 

A: “I love teaching in general so I knew I would do whatever I had to do to make e-learning enjoyable for myself and my students. There were definitely some bumps in the road in the beginning which made for some rough days, but overall I feel like I am getting into a routine and figuring everything out so it’s been more enjoyable lately.”

 

Q: Is it challenging getting the young kids to participate in class?

A: “I have a great group of kiddos this year. They are always eager to read, answer questions, and share ideas during our google meets so it hasn’t really been challenging getting them to participate. Many of my activities/assignments are on Seesaw which allows them to upload pictures, draw, write, type and record their answers. They seem to really enjoy using Seesaw so I think that is helpful.”

 

Q: Do you require kids to have their microphone/video on? 

A: “I do ask that they have their video on because I want to be able to see that they are engaged. They are allowed to have their microphone on at the beginning and at the end of our meetings so that they can all talk, but while I am teaching they are expected to have themselves muted. They raise their hand when they want to answer or share. Once I call on them they know they can unmute themselves.”

 

Q: Do the days feel shorter or longer being all online? 

A: “Honestly, I really thought the days were going to seem so long since I knew I’d be sitting in front of a computer for most of the day. The days seem to be flying by though, but I think that is because I’m spending a ton of time teaching and then during the breaks I’m always prepping or planning for future lessons. I don’t ever feel like I have any ‘down time’ during the day.”

 

Q: Has it been hard to form the bonds you would usually form with students because of the online situation? 

A: “It is definitely harder to form bonds since I am not able to be with them all day and I’m only seeing them through a screen. I try to do multiple activities each week where I’m able to learn about their families, their favorite things, what they like to do, etc. I’ve also had some small group meetings so those times are helpful with getting to know them because of the smaller group.”

 

Q: Have parents been helpful with e-learning? Or do you feel like you have had to do a majority of the things alone because parents can’t help with things they usually would?

A: “I have some rock star parents. A lot of them are also working from home so I know they have a lot on their plate, but they are awesome at getting their kids set up for the day, helping them when need be and even meeting with me via Google Meet when I have to talk to them about something. There are many grandparents helping out as well and they are also doing a great job.”

 

Q: Do you have an idea of when you will be done with teaching e-learning?

A: “I have a feeling I will be teaching e-learning all school year. I am currently teaching a split class so I have general education kiddos as well as high ability kiddos. I also have kids from five of our elementary schools. I don’t see all of my kids switching back to in person when they have the chance to choose again so I think I will be staying in this position all school year.”

 

Q: Lastly, do you have anything you wish people would know about the good and bad things of e-learning? 

A: “Basically just that being an e-learning teacher is very different from being an in-person teacher. It’s definitely been a ton of work and will continue to be that way all year. I give props to all of the teachers, students and families who are doing e-learning.”