SAN ANTONIO – With schools closed since March, there are rising concerns about distance learning for students.
According to the latest Bexar Facts-KSAT-Rivard Report poll, 48% of Bexar County residents polled say distance learning is somewhat productive, with only 33% saying distance learning is extremely or very productive.
The poll also revealed that 62% say that the closure of schools due to coronavirus is an “extremely or very serious problem” in the San Antonio area.
Kristen Hood has a second grader, a fifth grader and an eighth grader, all who have been distance learning since their schools closed.
“I’m not going to say it’s easy because it’s not, with two working parents full-time at home also working remotely," Hood said.
Hood said she’s having to keep up with three different course-loads, not to mention that Hood’s eighth grader has seven different teachers.
“We’ve had to add in all the kids’ schedules into our own calendars for work,” Hood said. “So, we have a lot of conflicting time frame with their meetings and our meetings. They do the work, but sometimes they forget to submit or turn it in. There’s a lot of buttons to click and make sure the processes are going through, so it’s not easy. But we don’t try to be perfect and some days are better than others.”
It’s been a change for teachers, too.
Emily Countryman is an eighth-grade history teacher and social studies department coordinator at Rawlinson Middle School and she’s in charge of six classes.
“The kids at the secondary level were familiar with Google Classroom for turning in work there,” Countryman said. “So, I think for the secondary students, it made the transition a little bit easier. Of course, we had a huge learning curve on Zoom and how to screen record some lessons, so that sort of thing was a little different. We’ve tried to be very flexible with the ‘live’ portions of our class and do as much as we can with the real instruction in a prerecorded setting because we’ve seen a lot of families sharing devices across multiple children.”
In addition to her 165, eighth-grade students, Countryman is also “home-schooling” her two daughters.
“My own children will be the first to say I cannot replace their kindergarten or second-grade teacher for anything, but they have done really well,” Countryman said. “It’s taken some adjustment for them to understand that when I’m working or on a Zoom call that they can’t always come in and interrupt. But they’re getting the hang of it.”
“The poll was conducted from April 16-20 by phone and internet. It includes responses from 668 registered Bexar County voters of different income and education levels, race, age, gender and political party affiliation. Four out of five respondents answered in English, while one out of five answered in Spanish. The poll’s margin of error is 4%.
Didn’t get called for the poll, but still want to have your voice heard? Take the poll, via Bexar Facts, here.”