State superintendent reflects on lessons learned from educating during pandemic
BATON ROUGE – It's been a challenging time for educators teaching through the pandemic and students adjusting to the different learning environments. To see whether there are any areas that need improvement, the Louisiana Department of Education created a focus group asking those in the classroom what is working and what is not.
"We just have to continue to get better in a most unfortunate and awful situation,” said Dr. Cade Brumley, the state superintendent.
Since last March it's been months of continuously adjusting for schools. They had to learn how to educate kids at their homes and bring them back half or full-time. Brumley said that created some problems.
"We know that there was broadband issues, across the state, making sure every kid has access in their home. Right now, only three out of four Louisiana kids have access in their home,” said Dr. Brumley.
The research pointed out some other areas of concern.
"Absenteeism, truancy and actually having students engaged in their lessons if they're in that virtual setting, those are some thing that were pointed out that we might need to give additional attention,” Dr. Brumley said.
But there have been some successes too.
"Teachers were praised and their ability to adapt to the environment, try to learn as much as they can and try to get better to deliver instruction,” Dr. Brumley said.
Communication between the state and the schools was also a success. The next step, Dr. Brumley says, is to come up with solutions.
"We’ll take the lessons that we've learned, make policy and practice improvements, share this information with systems and schools throughout the state so they can make decisions as well,” he said.
The research also showed school systems have increased their effort to support students' mental health, as transitioning between learning modes caused stress for them and their parents.
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