May 8, 2020 Academics

Sioux City teachers reflect on transition to online learning

Donnie Short, a 5th grade teacher at Liberty Elemenetary, sends May Day baskets to students

In April, Governor Kim Reynolds announced that Iowa schools would remain closed through the end of the year, causing teachers to make some big adjustments to their lesson plans that are now online.

“I’m thankful that we are in a time period in technology where I can still see my students and talk to them,” said Courtney Seibold a 3rd-grade teacher.

This is Seibold’s second year teaching at Liberty Elementary. She says shes always involved technology into her lessons.

“Getting this all going was super easy because the kids already knew how to get there and how to log on. And I actually have my own classroom website so if the kids didn’t know how to get to a link they visit the classroom website and click the link,” said Seibold.

Fifth-grade teacher Donny Short has a classroom Facebook page for students and parents to use as a learning tool.

“Making it a hub for interacting with each other. An example of that was on May Day, I delivered May Day baskets and in those baskets was flat Mr.Short that went along with a children series flat Stanley,” said Short.

But there are some educators like Janice Ryan that have been teaching for over 30 years. She said Zoom Meetings and Google Classroom are new territories.

“I had to learn myself how to do it and how to create meetings and then I had to share that with the kids and their parents,” said Ryan.

But one thing educators can all agree upon is how much they are relying on parents to step up to help connect students with the learning resources they are providing.

“A lot of this has been an increase in communication with parents and learning how much of a need it is,” said Ryan.

But as the school year comes to an end educators are still waiting to learn what comes next for the fall.

“The school districts have to present a return to learning plan, and as of right now that hasn’t been released to us teachers,” said Short.

View the full coverage by Marina Bach on KCAU.