SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (WMC) – School returns for Shelby County Schools in less than a month. Virtual training for teachers is proving to be a challenge.
Derry Phillips spent Wednesday morning leading a workshop at the Memphis Shelby County Teacher’s Association, to help them better prepare for virtual teaching.
He feels the training they have been given by SCS has not provided enough hands-on instruction.
“The training that has been provided has been limited, and it doesn’t really go in-depth of what we need to do to educate children,” said Phillips.
Teachers will be using Microsoft Teams for live instruction. Phillips said teachers are anxious, and he feels that starting training months earlier would have helped.
“For instance in March, the training for Teams could’ve begun,” he said.
He says one of the biggest hurdles will be helping veteran teachers get acclimated to the program.
Erika Sugarmon, who will be starting her 23rd year as a teacher, agrees.
“We need the support of parents, guardians and the community because this is new for everybody,” said Sugarmon.
As a high school teacher, Sugarmon is concerned about students showing up to class.
“Seventeen, 18-year-olds, getting them to check-in,” she said. “That means that we’re going to be calling parents a lot, guardians a lot, trying to encourage them to get the young people to sign on.”
Sugarmon says students will be required to sign on and off for each class period, just as if they are switching from class to class.
Phillips has already taught summer school virtually, and he said there was a lack of communication with students and a lack of consistency.
“The first day for students is going to be a challenge, because students don’t even know how to use it, and teachers don’t know how to use it,” said Phillips. “But we’re going to be obligated and responsible for teaching them.”
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