A Florida teacher’s emotional video is sparking conversation as she described challenges she faces with online instruction amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Terry Kinder, a seventh grade civics teacher at Bellview Middle School in Bellview, Florida, recorded herself on Sept. 10 while sitting in her car before class. She eventually shared the footage on Facebook along with an open letter, in hopes her district would make changes regarding technology difficulties, standardized testing and students’ workloads.
Kinder’s story was soon shared by local media outlets and she received messages from fellow educators who revealed their own struggles with remote teaching.
“I think I was at my breaking point,” Kinder told “Good Morning America.” “I’ve never recorded myself upset before. I didn’t think I was going to cry.”
“I feel like I’m failing my students because I can’t be there for them like I could in a classroom,” she added.
Kinder has been teaching for six years. She said she volunteered to teach online, believing she’d excel at it.
However, Kinder quickly learned it was more difficult than anticipated — making sure her class can absorb her lessons through computer screens. She also employs the same, standardized pretests to all her students regardless of their learning model.
“When you speak to the kids [who are learning online], there’s no way to privately talk to them,” she said. “It’s difficult to pull a student in a separate meeting. It puts you on hold with the 30 other kids. In class, I simply walk over. In a classroom, I can see if a student is stuck on No. 2 for a few minutes. I can’t see that online.”
Kinder’s colleague, Cheryl Lindstrom, told “GMA” she agrees with Kinder’s message.
“My complaint is, secure online testing seems to be an oxymoron,” said Lindstrom, a sixth through ninth grade social studies teacher who teaches online every other day. “I don’t know where they’re taking the test, how many devices are open…my concern is, how valid is the data we’re collecting through an online assessment because it’s not a controlled environment.”
Source : Good Morning America