• Nick Romano, Graduate Fellow

K-12 Voices: The Opportunities & Challenges of Covid-19

As O’Briant Group’s Research Fellow for Autumn of 2020, I’m investigating the effects of the pandemic on K-12 teachers. This is the first blog post of a series to be released this semester.

In Person, Hybrid, and Online, All at Once

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Lee Green, a high school teacher in Georgia and Vice President of Education for the O’Briant Group. Dr. Green has had an interesting experience with education during the pandemic because he has worked with three different models during this fall semester: online, hybrid, and in person.

Reflecting on his experiences, Dr. Green points out that schools offer so much more than time in a classroom. Says Dr. Green, ”School is a whole lot more than [that]. We feed kids, we take care of them, we make sure they are supported and loved.” Although he is not personally struggling with the technology, he notes that many teachers are.

The 3 Big Issues

Dr. Green feels that the biggest issues for him and for the students at his school are:

  1. The lack of structure

  2. The lack of consistency

  3. Online instruction effectiveness

When asked what he thought was the best model of instruction for the pandemic, Dr. Green says that he believes some sort of structured hybrid model would probably be best, pointing out the importance of socialization for students but suggests that class sizes be limited in order to keep students and teachers safe from the Covid-19 virus.

The Ineffective Way to Teach Online

Dr. Green also said that he doesn't believe that online instruction is very effective, at least the model that his school is using. He describes that model as a “click and get” system that provides students with a chance to learn, but more or less “checks a box” when it comes to providing them with classroom content.

An Opportunity to Grow

Despite all the chaos the education system is experiencing though because of Covid-19, Dr. Green pointed out that this is a great chance for us to examine the education system in America and that we should take this chance to learn more about the possible futures of teaching and education.

Stay tuned for takeaways from my next interview with a K-12 educator who is teaching during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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