School report: ‘Educators were given limited to no instruction on how to teach virtually’

We want to hear from you

These are responses to our callout for sharing experiences with virtual learning at home, from parents, students and teachers.

“There is a patchwork learning system being implemented that is different from district to district. Some are doing a better job than others. However, let’s not fool ourselves -- online learning is really no substitute for in-person interactions with teachers, not to mention the loss of social interaction. I keep hearing that this is all based on “science.” However, how can the “science” be different for each district? (Especially districts that are right next to each other geographically)."

-- Anonymous

“As a teacher, online school is failure. I feel like my life is a failure trying to teach and motivate kids online.”

-- Anonymous

“I share these parents' frustrations and concerns. I am a single parent with a 13-year-old and I am away from home. I get phone calls from my child while at work because he needs assistance or if his Zoom meeting suddenly cuts out. It’s the worst feeling in the world when you can’t help you child. They feel your frustration and it is very upsetting to them and to you as a parent. You want to be there for them but your situation does not allow it. I applaud the teachers for the work they are doing to help the students and also the parents' and families that are doing their best to make it work for their children. Thank you for posting -- I know I am not alone in this. I am hopeful we can get the kids back in the classrooms in a safe environment soon.”

-- Anonymous

“The district did not prepare my child on what was to come this fall online. This software was not tested in the spring. Everything is a rush job and I, as a parent, struggle with the software at times. Being pulled from work constantly for help with in-class work is wearing me down. Virtual classes should be workable for kids and parents alike. Virtual software should have been tested early on like in the early part of this past spring.”

-- Kristen

“I’ve been reading these posts over the last few weeks, and as an educator, I empathize with each and every one of these families and students. Virtual learning is hard. It is hard for the students, it is hard for the parents, and it is hard for the educators who have limited training on how to teach virtually. The reality of the situation is, we are in a pandemic. People are getting sick and dying. This is not a joke, and everything changes daily. At the end of last school year, districts knew there was a possibility of schools being virtual in the fall. Instead of providing proper training, testing virtual platforms, and manipulating the curriculum to fit virtual learning, they waited in hopes for a face-to-face instruction. In my opinion, that is why we are in the situation we are in. Educators were given limited to no instruction on how to teach virtually. We were told to ask a colleague or look it up on YouTube. That, to me, shows how little the administration care about the education of our children. Please be patient with your teachers and support staff. We love what we do, and we care about your children. We are trying our best to adapt a curriculum to online learning.”

-- Anonymous

How is virtual learning going? Let us know

Virtual learning is now well underway in many Michigan school districts.

We want to hear from parents and students about their experiences with this unprecedented situation. We’ve also received many comments from teachers who are double-timing as parents at home.

Please tell us how it’s going:

More: Return to School coverage

About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.