FAYETTE COUNTY (WOAY) – Just over a month ago, Governor Justice announced his decision to close schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“[I felt] a little bit of panic because I was like ‘oh boy, this is going to be interesting. I’m not sure how this is going to roll out, how we are going to do this, what platform, how are we going to keep our kids going,” said Midland Trail High School teacher Randy Halsey. “My biggest concern, really, was our kids.”
Since then, teachers have moved classes online by using a variety of tools to keep students on track, including Mircrosoft Office and Microsoft’s app Teams.
“Trial by error,” Halsey described the transition. “You try things and see what works.”
Halsey says it isn’t a good time to pile a heavy workload onto his students, so he mainly assigns readings, YouTube videos and journal entries. For some students, his main focus is getting them ready for the upcoming AP exam.
“I am pretty sure the kids are going to be able to do it online, this year,” said Halsey. “In West Virginia, we know how the broadband capacity isn’t the greatest in the world, so I’m hoping that’s not an issue.”
While the stress can weigh heavily on students and parents, teachers with more than a hundred students to juggle lean on each other for support.
“Being a member of the AFT and AFT West Virginia, I was on a Zoom meeting with 65 teachers from across the country. That turned out really great because it was a great sharing of ideas, of platforms that people are using [and] communication strategies people are using.”