STAFFORD — The new reality for education is online delivery of education. Three teachers from the Stafford Township Elementary School District were nice enough to share their experiences.

A special thank you to Robyn Watson, Mrs. Jennifer Lowe and Emily Johnson. They all teach at the at the Ocean Acres Elementary School, 

I asked each teacher to give a report of how things are progressing in this new education paradigm. 

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Robyn Watson: STEAM teacher at Ocean Acres Elementary School. 

"I have mixed emotions about remote learning right now. My class involves so many hands on experiments that are hard to translate into online learning," she wrote. "I am lucky to be in a district that has a strong community and all the necessary resources to keep the school year going."

The T in STEAM is for technology.  I feel the parents are getting a crash course into how much technology their first and second graders are learning.  We use, Flipgrid, Code.org, Bitsbox, Zoom, Google classroom and so much more. 

When in the normal classroom setting, I can set their computers up and everything usually works with my assistance.  We as teachers are always encouraged to offer real world connections in our learning environment.

Now we have a variety of families with different computers, browsers and compatibility issues that slow down and confuse the student. I think the parents are amazing and really doing a great job supporting their children and teachers. I have seen some beautiful family moments shared in my Flipgrid responses.

If anything good comes out of this, it's family time. I'm going to keep plugging along and create awesome connections and learning experiences for my students. I am hoping to not overwhelm any of the parents with all my ideas, but rather inspire their children's creative minds.

Most of all, I hope everyone stays safe and I'm looking forward to the day we walk back into Ocean Acres Elementary school! If you want to check out my twitter it's @watson_STEAM. Let me know if you need anything else.

You can contact Robyn at rwatson@staffordschools.org

Mrs. Jennifer Lowe: First Grade Teacher at Ocean Acres Elementary School. 

"Remote teaching has definitely been a challenge for all of us.  We are used to spending our days talking, having conversations, getting hugs and tying shoes for 25 little ones.  Being in front of a screen all day trying to interact with them and stay connected is so completely different.  We have all been finding ways for it to work, though.  By utilizing resources like Google Classroom, Zoom, Flipgrid and Class Dojo, we are staying connected to our students and their families.  It also lets them stay connected to each other. 

Just this morning my entire class did a live video chat on Zoom.  It was such a good feeling to hear them and see them and to interact with each other! 

For all of us, teachers, parents and the students, this has been initiation by fire.  So far we have all rallied together and met this challenge head on!  I know that we are all looking forward to getting back to school.

You can contact Mrs. Lowe at jelowe@staffordschools.org

Emily Johnson

For me personally, teaching at home  has had it challenging moments mainly because of being a mother of a first grader and a fourth grader. Balancing my time online doing work and making sure that my own children are on track, especially my first grader, can be a delicate dance each day. 

For my class, having the online foundation in place of having class dojo and google classroom as a source of communication and to help with work for my students has been invaluable.

Our faculty has come together and made solid efforts to support each other and work together to develop appropriate review work which we will build on and we will continue to do so as we move forward. That support and that continual communication we have put in place makes things so much easier moving forward.

Finally, I know at this time it's the communication and the connection that is so important. It makes me feel so happy to receive a message from a parent that listening to my videos that I post throughout the day. The video made one of my students feel better and are looking forward to hearing from me.

The fact that my videos, powerpoints of our family hikes which I turn into science lessons, mystery pics, etc.makes a confusing time easier for my students means the world to me.

You can contact Emily Johnson at ejohnson@staffordschools.org