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Don’t ignore the good that virtual schooling has done | READER COMMENTARY

Second-grader Jacqueline Solano gets instructions from her teacher Tiffany Harmon during first day of face-to-face eLearning at Broward Estates Elementary School in Lauderhill Florida on Friday, October 9, 2020. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel)
Second-grader Jacqueline Solano gets instructions from her teacher Tiffany Harmon during first day of face-to-face eLearning at Broward Estates Elementary School in Lauderhill Florida on Friday, October 9, 2020. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel) (Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Many articles are stating how students are failing due to virtual schooling. I just want to share one story of a 13-year-old who struggled in the 7th grade but just ended the first and second quarters in the 8th grade with As and Bs. One positive thing that has come from virtual schooling is that teachers were forced to develop lesson plans that would be used by all and place their assignments on Schoology (”‘For us it works’: More than half of Carroll County Public Schools students learning fully virtually; Boys & Girls Club helping about 100,” Feb. 2).

For those who might not know about Schoology, it is a platform that Baltimore County Public Schools teachers use to give assignments and grades. Parents can view their children’s progress. The 8th grade curriculum and assignments seem to have been synced. The student to whom I am referring is a twin and I can see similarities in the assignments of her twin brother, though his teachers use a different teaching strategy.

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During the 7th grade parent-teacher conferences that we attended last year, we would walk away frustrated because there was no way for us to reinforce what was being taught because some teachers used Schoology while others did not. She did well in the classes where teachers used Schoology. In addition, I would visit her classes during the 7th grade and I will admit I was amazed at all that went on in class. I thought if I had to learn in this environment, I would have never have made it through school. I visited at least five times. Out of the five times, there was only one teacher who seemed to have control of his class. It was too distracting for most students to focus.

I realize that people want teachers and students back in the classroom. I also was privy to hear a third grade teacher attempt to teach virtually a few weeks ago. She really was doing the best she could, but with the constant, “Turn on your video,” or “Why are you clicking on that?” or “Click here, not there,” and “Do you see the red button?” I can see why elementary kids need to go back to the classroom.

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I hope teachers can get the vaccine and go back safely. However, when teachers return to the classroom, I hope the requirement to use Schoology will continue because it provides structure and consistency and allows parents and guardians to help keep students on task.

Vell Lyles, Rosedale

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