Adapting to the new normal: At-home learning for Waco ISD

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WACO, Texas – Teaching is now a little different for Waco ISD educators.

Coronavirus has shut down area schools until April 7th, and could go much longer making at-home learning the new normal in this COVID-19 era.

Teachers and students have all had to adapt quickly.

“It went from Spring Break to, oh my god, we can’t go back to school, to oh no, now what are we going to do?” said Darin Brock, 7th & 8th grade English Teacher at Lake Air Montessori Magnet School.

Brock never imagined a virus would force him to do his job completely online. But, because of Coronavirus, all Waco ISD campuses have been closed since March 16th and teachers have taken their skills online.

“It was always, you went to school, you did your lesson plans, you taught everyday, you stayed late, long hours, but it was never from home in your living room or wherever so it’s been a definite learning curve for both of us,” said Tracy Brock, Instructional Specialist for Math and Science at Cesar Chavez Middle School.

At-home teaching is the new normal for Waco ISD educators, forcing them to adapt to the pros and cons of teaching in the COVID-19 era.

“As a teacher who really enjoys the face-to-face interaction with the kids this is hard, I don’t like it, at all. Now, as far as grading and being able to reach more kids at the same time, it’s much easier,” said Darin Brock.

Although teachers can no longer see their students or co-workers in person, technology allows them to continue doing the things they would normally do.

“You get that little interaction like you would get in the classroom, where it might just be a 2 or 3 minute little interaction in the classroom, that the student needs to make sure they’re on point, to make sure they are going down the right path,” added Brock.

The educators say the at-home learning is still a work in progress, but they commend the District for doing such a good job on getting it started quickly and providing the tools they need to help students online.

They hope this can be an added skill they can continue to use once things go back to normal.

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