Local schools may be closed, but teachers are keeping their students focused and learning.
Around the Heartland, a student’s primary learning environment has changed. The way classes are now conducted has shifted to a form reserved mostly for post-secondary education.
This, however, has not stopped instructors. A Portsmouth West teacher has taken upon herself to motivate the children and keep them learning. Joyce Banks, a first-grade teacher, said her students are “embracing,” the online format.
Immediately after the notice was given from Governor Mike DeWine, Banks said West and its teachers sprang into action. To prevent education from being hindered, iPads were given to any child that didn’t have access to one at home. This was to provide each child with the resources needed to further their growth.
“I use an app called Class Dojo,” Banks said. “It’s an app that allows for direct communication and online work.”
Students are still learning and growing. Banks said one of their first assignments was to just, spend time with their families.
“I’m thankful my students have an opportunity to spend time with their families.” Banks continued, “My prayer is that our families become stronger.” She said the core subjects are taught and the parents get to go over them with their children. After the children have a chance to learn, they then teach her.
“I think the students really like it [teaching].” She said with how the curriculum is organized. Everyone is working together as a team.
Banks said she had been impressed with the communication between every party.
Art is presented from the art and music department of West Portsmouth. Breakfast and lunch meals are provided from the school to every student and their siblings.
To keep morale high and motivate her student’s goals are being set. Two-week incentives are an initiative to keep the children on track and are a benefit to the family.
At the end of the most recent goal, at the student’s door, they heard a knock. When opened, a pizza, addressed to the student was sent from Banks.
Banks said the students were happy to have the pizza with their name on it and the parents, perhaps, were glad they didn’t have to cook a meal.
“I get to help local business, parents, and my students this way,” Banks said. That is what she was aiming for to help local out during uncertain times. “Everywhere, teachers are working hard. We are all doing our best for our students and the community.”
Schools are currently set to resume in April, but as the number of confirmed cases continues to grow, it is unclear if that will go as planned.
For the time being, Banks is setting many mini goals in the upcoming weeks. She is aiming to help everyone she can in this pandemic from young to old.
“Our children will read about the pandemic in a future history book.” Banks concluded, “I hope they read that we were strong, brave and shared love and kindness through our faith.”
Teachers across the state are providing for their students. In Scioto County, one is delivering right to their doors.
Reach Bailey Watts (740) 353-3101 Ext 1931
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