How Texas Teachers Are Adapting to Teaching During COVID-19

woman watching video tutorial on laptop in her office

As the country faces the challenge of the COVID-19 outbreak, schools across Texas seek ways to provide education despite changing needs and regulations. While vaccinations are becoming available, pandemic related safety procedures will likely be in place for the rest of this school year, at least.

Teachers must have access to materials, services, and lesson plans that keep up with classrooms split between in-person and online instruction. We’ve gathered some of the best tips and recommendations to show how teachers are rising to the challenge.

10 Ways Texas Teachers are Adapting during COVID-19

1. Using Dynamic Digital Classrooms

Most students make use of digital classrooms for at least some of their education. Educators have learned to use platforms like Zoom to give live instruction to their classes. Some educators have picked up a few tricks to get the most out of the software along the way.

2. Recording Live Sessions for Easy Review

Whether you’re presenting to the full class or giving direct instruction to a single student, you can use the Zoom recording features to save copies of your live sessions. 

Keeping an archive of your recent lessons makes it easier for you to review your progress on a particular subject. Even better, making these recordings available can help students who’ve missed instruction or need to go over a topic a second time.

3. Using Breakout Rooms to Break Up the Pacing

You probably don’t like staring at a talking head for hours any more than your students do. Change up the pace using the breakout rooms feature to encourage small group discussions or allow students to collaborate on projects. 

Students talking with each other naturally motivate each other to engage with the course material. These conversations also serve to provide a little peer-to-peer social interaction that might be missing during lockdowns.

4. Showing Your Work With the Whiteboard 

Static images of worksheets get tiring quickly. The whiteboard feature lets you add a little motion and activity to the lesson. You can work through a math problem, annotate a writing exercise, or even doodle along with a history lesson. Little touches like this can go a long way for keeping students focused.

5. Setting Honest Expectations

Virtually everyone is adapting to dramatic changes in their habits and routines as a response to COVID-19, and teachers are no exception. Our students aren’t just learning core curriculum from us. 

They’re also watching to learn how we navigate the challenges of a pandemic. Being honest with your students and their parents about the difficulties your class faces is an important way to demonstrate the importance of communication in trying times.

Don’t be afraid to address the precautions and changes you’re making for viral safety with your students. Helping them understand the reasoning behind the changes empowers them to see how our communities have to work together. Allowing them to know that these changes are hard for adults can help them feel less alone.

With parents, communicating realistic expectations and honest reports of progress are great ways to demonstrate your commitment to their children’s education. We all have to expect new challenges in this process, but talking openly with parents about these changes as they arise is an effective way to focus on reasonable academic accomplishments despite the pandemic.

6. Staying Informed

As our understanding of the virus developed, the guidelines offered to reduce its spread changed rapidly. Keeping up with the current guidelines is crucial for the safety of students and teachers alike. It’s important to know where to turn when complicated questions come up too. 

The ATPE maintains a useful FAQ to help you stay up-to-date on what to expect and what is expected of you. Here are a few examples of the questions and answers you can find on their site.

7. Following Guidelines

TEA Guidelines instruct teachers to immediately separate any students exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms from any in-person activities until a parent or guardian can pick them up. However, health confidentiality laws limit you from discussing a student’s possible infection with others, and it’s essential to respect the right to medical privacy.

8. Understanding Special Needs Situations

Special Education students are among those hit hardest by the changes to classrooms. There haven’t been any provisions enacted in Texas that change an educator’s duty to adhere to IDPs for their students. 

Many districts are using online AARD meetings to discuss reasonable changes to IDPs that fit the circumstances. More details about managing special education needs are available from the TEA.

9. Reporting Infections

TEA guidelines mandate that infections are reported to all teachers, staff, and families of students at any school or facility where an attendee or staff tests positive for COVID-19. However, health privacy laws limit the nature of these disclosures, so they typically do not identify the specific individual who tested positive.

10. Getting Help When They Need It

One saving grace is that we’re all in this together. Learning from other instructors, sharing your own insights, and keeping an eye on new resources as they become available will help you stay on top of the challenge. 

Online learning is challenging at best, and it can feel overwhelming when you’re trying to teach large classes. Avoid teacher burnout and feeling at a loss for interactive ways to teach your students. 

At DeAlba Math Center, we are passionate about creating products and services that facilitate the ability to reach the Math STAAR performance level of each school. No matter if your goal is to educate an entire campus, a grade, or a specific group of students to master or meet their performance category, DeAlba has a program designed for you.

We strongly believe that all students and teachers can reach their highest potential when they have the appropriate support network! Contact us, and let’s discuss the products available to meet your needs.


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