Teachers kick off first day of virtual learning

FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Walking the halls at Midland Trail High is eerie since even though school is in session, classrooms are empty.

Kennedy Cochran is in her fourth year of teaching, but it’s almost like reliving her first.

“I heard the comment made that we are all first-year teachers this year because we have to totally shift our ways of instruction,” said Cochran. “Even if we had the same things we’ve done for years, we’re all changing. First-year teachers, we are all right there with you.”

Cochran teaches several classes including English and STEM. Online, she’s juggling nearly 30 students in each class.

“I’m uploading their assignments, I’m messaging them, giving them updates. Today, I have a team meeting scheduled for each of my classes. If they’re not able to meet at that time, then I’ll upload it to Schoology for them to watch later.”

It’s a lot for one person, but she isn’t working alone. Fayette County teachers trained all summer to prepare for the changes and they lean on each other for guidance.

“I go into other classes all the time, like ‘ok, how did you put this in schoology?’ or ‘how did you do this?’ It’s very helpful and we have our team meetings with the whole faculty sometimes and we just have Q&A sessions.”

Fayette County is still considered orange, so kids cant go to class in-person. Luckily, her English students seem to be adjusting well to the virtual format. Even so, students can’t wait to get back into the building.

After two days of handing out devices, today was the first Cochran met with students.

Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.