How virtual learning may affect teachers in Madison County this fall

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – While parents think about how the upcoming school year will impact them and their children, school leaders say teachers may be much more prepared to plan virtual lessons this fall than they were in March when the pandemic began.

On Wednesday morning, three major school districts in Madison County announced that students will continue learning from home. Alabama Education Association District #3 director Beverly Sims said it’s not safe to gather for in class learning.

“There’s not a win-win situation to put students and staff back into the schools right now. It just cannot be done safely, said Sims.

Sims said back in March, teachers did not have the training to teach virtually. She said some of them relied on each other to learn how to do it, but come fall, all of that should be easier.

“Teachers have been exploring resources all summer. So they’re much more prepared to plan virtual lessons. Some of them have taken online trainings this summer,” said Sims.

Sims said most teachers feel comfortable instructing students in front of a screen now, but some of them may face challenges.

“The ones that I do hear from that have concerns are the ones that serve our special needs students because the way we serve them, it requires more in person contact,” she said.

Right now, Sims said school leaders are still working out those plans. But most importantly, she said the teachers are there to help their students.

“It’s not going to be as big a stumbling as a lot of people think it will. I know there will be areas where they may not have real good Internet,” said Sims. “That may be something they may have to work with the school system to try to help them get a hot spot.”

Alabama Education Association leaders said even though virtual learning may be a challenge for some families, the safety of students comes first.

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