Hidden Heroes of COVID-19


Ali Sliwa, Staff Writer

People all over the world are doing their best to keep normal life afloat during this time of a global pandemic,  infamously known as the Coronavirus or Covid-19. Healthcare workers are taking extra shifts, eligible companies are producing personal protective equipment and teachers are managing to incorporate knowledge and understanding to lessons from a computer screen. 

 The Center on Reinventing Public Education says, “More than 100,000 public schools across the country have closed.”

 Teachers are putting four to five hours into creating lesson plans students can engage with online. The concept of a physical classroom is lost, but teachers are ensuring the concept of learning stays constant even through a time of crisis. Teachers of all grade levels are opening virtual office hours to students, available to answer emails from students, teachers and staff ensuring an easy transition from desk to desktop. 

“I have seen teachers use google meet to do flipped lessons, screen recordings and even google meet for question and answer sessions with parents,” Said third grade teacher Sharon Sliwa.

From youtube videos to google meets, teachers presenting their face makes online learning an easier adjustment for all students. Along with providing virtual support, teachers are also making their lessons more structured.

As Community School District 200 says “Provide routines and structures for students and families to maintain their connection to schools and learning.”

 A routine gets students comfortable and familiar with online learning. Teachers are creating schedules and flexible due dates to keep students task oriented and motivated while learning at home. While schedules and routine help students efficiently complete their tasks, teachers tie in social emotional learning to make each assignment more comprehensible. Social emotional learning is maintaining positive relationships so students feel like they are in a positive and encouraging learning environment. Through the computer screen social emotional learning may seem difficult, but teachers across the globe are making it work.

 “We have a spirit week every week and our social worker posts daily lessons for students to respond how they feel by drawing or writing,” said Sliwa. “Teachers are adding an SEL (social emotional learning) component weekly in their Seesaw app where they have students draw how they feel.”

Younger students are able to express their concerns, frustration or goals through simply drawing. For older students google forms have been sent out asking the student how they feel or if they have any concerns. Teachers are not only  connecting with their own students, but students throughout the district. 

“We are doing staff videos once a week saying how we miss them and we draw it on a heart or a sing-along.” Said Sliwa 

With all of the commotion and stress around Covid-19, teachers are making the best out of each situation with endless support and dedication. Teachers are ensuring that each student gets to embrace learning and stay educated during the pandemic. Students will be able to come out of this crisis with knowledge, understanding and confidence for any that comes their way.