SECURITY-WIDEFIELD — Teachers working from home is the new norm under the Safer-at-Home order in Colorado.
Angie Murphy has been teaching biology from home for a few weeks now, and it’s been a big adjustment.
“Transferring all my lessons to just solely online has been challenging you know, just taking these things that I’ve done with them and then transferring to an online… it’s so much different,” said Murphy, a science biology teacher at Widefield High School.
Murphy, like all teachers across the state, can only connect with students virtually.
“I think that’s just been the biggest challenge. I miss them so much, I can’t even express how hard it is not to be with them,” Murphy said.
Murphy says student engagement and interaction has been tough.
“I can only feel so much through an email. It was really difficult to feel like I was doing a good job,” Murphy said.
And she’s not alone.
“The hardest time has been not having that interaction with the kids on a daily basis, giving them hugs and high fives. But having to see them from far away,” said Christen Schumacher, a 1st grade teacher at Pinello Elementary School.
Schumacher says her typical days of teaching are gone.
“I’ll do Google virtual Meet with kids and they’ll read to me. And I’ll have the same thing right in front of me and I’ll be reading at the same time. But it’s just not the same as being there and saying, ‘oh, go back to that word’ or you know, read that one more time for me,” Schumacher said.
And she understands parents are also doing the best they can.
“It’s really changed our instruction with reading. Math has been difficult because we’re learning a lot of vocabulary and strategies that the parents really didn’t learn in school or don’t remember learning even for first grade. So, it’s been a big learning curve for them too. We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for parents. No more than an hour of work a day,” Schumacher said.
Meanwhile, Murphy and her students are on opposite schedules.
“I’m having my coffee, I’m checking my email right away to see if I have any correspondence between 10 last night when I went to bed and this morning because kids are staying up super late. Like until 3 and four in the morning and then they wake up at like, 1. And so, by the time they’re getting work to me, my typical school day would be done. When they’re contacting me with questions, it’s like 7 and 8 at night,” Murphy said.
Both teachers say it’s not how thought they’d end the school year.
“It has been a struggle, especially in the last three weeks. Every parent that I’ve talked to has said, ‘we’re done. They are having a really hard time focusing,'” Schumacher said.
Regardless, they’re making it work.
“I really feel like kids are a lot more resilient than I ever thought. They make the best of situations and we’re making the best of the situation,” Murphy said.