Roundtable Discussion of Education
The Climate of COVID-19
Planting Seeds Tutoring & Test Prep had a roundtable discussion (Part 1) on the current and future state of education! With the pandemic and level of uncertainty throughout our country many of our clients have asked us, “How is this going to impact education?” or, “What are schools going to do in the fall?” Perhaps most alarmingly, “Should I attend college now and is it still needed?”
To answers all your questions, PST gathered a group of teachers, tutors, and future educators to share their responses and provide valuable feedback. We had a panel of three educators: Ashley, Destinee, and Jennifer.
Acclimation to Tech: Were we prepared?
The answer? No, not really. The idea that all learning had to turn online was largely unexplored by many districts. However, the panel brought up the idea that stretching lesson plans and traveling outside of the “tech comfort zone” can be healthy for some educators, parents, and even students.
The level of accessibility for students who are consistently missing class due to chronic illness has just now dramatically increased and Tutor Jennifer questioned whether districts had particular systems in place prior to coronavirus to deal with this level of mass displacement. Perhaps not, but now we expect legislation to change drastically in the standards for teachers to implement tech into daily lessons. The panel suspected that many tax dollars would be pushed into education in the upcoming years to equip students with laptops, a luxury many students still do not have in Texas.
Destinee brought up a great point that many students who are displaced who live in rural areas are finding difficulty acclimating to online learning because internet access is limited. But how do we make lesson plans accessible to them? That question still remains unsolved, but it seemed to rely less on districts and more on statewide requirements of free wifi.
Tutor Ashley says that many teachers may turn more to virtual lessons to allow access to students both near and far, removing the landlocked requirement for many students to attend a school that does not suit their needs. The educators spoke about a healthy, reinvigorated sense of motivation through implementing online learning that will only change for, hopefully, the better in years to come.
Mental Heal in Lockdown?
“Can students see counselors while they are displaced?” was a question brought up at the very end, but Tutor Ashley and Educator Destinee were quick to respond with a resounding yes. The availability of online counseling is an expectation, the Panel stated, that all students who are struggling during this time can access. But…where? Destinee clearly stated that students are struggling and districts need to close the gap between the amount of counselors on sight and the number of students in school. Online counseling may be the answer for schools to outsource for meeting that requirement.
Online counseling services has dramatically increased in the past few years, and the Panel suggested that districts have online counselling available to students and advisory personnel both on sight and online to assist in directing our children’s future.
Is College Still Important?
The Panel said yes. OF COURSE!
Plans may change due to economic factors (say….30 million people unemployed across the US) but normalcy will one day return. Online classes will likely be much more widely accepted for college credit (dual credit, anyone?) and trade certificates may be reevaluated as a preferred route – and that’s okay. Chris suggested graduating seniors take a gap year to process what has been happening in the world and come back stronger than ever. Education is not a rush, and should be planned in advance. Don’t forget to make a little room for adjustments, though, because as we have seen these past two months – priorities may quickly change.
Join us next week on Facebook Live for our weekly roundtable discussion!
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