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Guilford County Schools' teacher speaks about the first week of school

The first week of school has been difficult for students and parents, but what about the teachers?

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Teachers prepared months for the start of the school year and while we all knew there would be challenges, the nature of some of them have been unexpected.

On the first day of school, a statewide technical glitch shut out both students and teachers from learning portals.
Guilford county teachers who have been putting students through orientation said they're doing the best they can under the circumstances.

"What happened on Monday was out of our control but if you're an educator long enough you learned that you just have to readjust when one plan goes awry you just have to go to Plan B or plan C or plan D," said Tammy White. White is a band teacher at Kiser middle school.

She said instead of hugs and hi-fives, she's spent the first week of school making phone or virtual calls, sending emails, and trying to get instruments to students.

"Pretty much just picked up trying to make connections to students and letting them know that we are available," said White.

Teachers are spending the first 2 weeks of the assigned 9-week remote learning period to getting students into a routine with orientation. But thousands of students are still without laptops and other learning devices and many lack internet connectivity.

"One of the biggest challenges is trying to make sure that we reach out to every student and if we have not then why aren't we able to reach them," said White.

Teachers, like parents and grandparents, thrust into supervising e-learning, are also trying to become IT experts as quickly as they can.
"I've seen a lot of trends come and go throughout my 26 years but we are just always seeking more opportunities to learn how to manage the technology better and that's all that we can do," White said.

For the upcoming week, teachers and schools would still be focused on getting students set up and putting them through various orientation processes. They would also continue to troubleshoot any technical issues ahead of actual live learning instructions and grading set to start after labor day.

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