Student teachers offer online resources to community during pandemic
UH students and Houston Independent School District are finding ways to serve the community despite social distancing due to COVID-19.
Student teachers have been able to provide online resources such as creating PowerPoints and videos to help teach lessons like math and reading, as well as hosting meetings to read to their students.
“(UH) students were able to serve (other) students and clients remotely, while also gaining real world experience, even virtually,” director of communications Ericka Mellon said. “We’re glad our students have been able to provide connection and support to the community during this time.”
Counseling students have also been able to provide therapy online to their regular patients.
Mellon said the students began working remotely as soon as they could while balancing school for themselves, along with the operations of where they work.
Mellon said students working remotely have provided a good opportunity to continue their internships and practicums when possible.
“Educators are trained to adapt, and that’s what they’ve done,” Mellon said.
Mellon said health and safety have been the top priority during COVID-19 social distancing.
“Schools and colleges across the country made incredible transitions to online teaching within just a couple of weeks in response to COVID-19,” Mellon said.
HISD has been one of many school districts to make changes to ensure their students are still able to learn while at home.
Principal of HISD Margarita Tovar said 100 percent of the district’s individual technology devices have been distributed to families in need of it, but it only covers one-fourth of the school population.
Due to the devices provided by HISD, over 620 families have been able to connect through Classroom Dojo and continue instruction through the COVID-19 crisis.
Tovar said teachers have been teaching through different methods such as synchronous and asynchronous to ensure students get the live feedback experience while also adjusting to different schedules.
“We must shift our priorities to ensure our children have equal opportunities should this ever occur again,” Tovar said.
Tovar said throughout the challenges, student-educator connection remains strong and has allowed HISD to become more comfortable with instructional technology.
HISD began online instruction on March 23 and will continue that way until the end of the academic school year.
“Equitable instruction cannot take place digitally if we do not provide all students with the same access to internet and technology devices,” Tovar said. “We will continue implementing the learned strategies as we continue molding what instruction looks like for our students in years to come.”