Dinwiddie science teacher finding new obstacles teaching virtually: ‘It’s a challenge’

Local News

(WRIC) — It’s the new normal for teachers and students during the coronavirus pandemic – teaching and learning from home.

Amid the pandemic, teachers are facing new challenges as they move to remote learning, something most Virginians are not used to, at least not yet. Chalkboards have been temporarily replaced by computer screens while classrooms look different than normal during the COVID-19 pandemic.

8News spoke with a Dinwiddie Middle School science teacher who said online learning is just not the same. Shannon Martson told 8News normally, “We don’t do a lot in the textbook. We might touch that three or four times out of the entire school year.”​

Science classes often require labs where students are graded while conducting scientific experiments. This spring, those labs will be done online. 

“Several students emailed me saying they were heartbroken they don’t get to dissect the frog,” Martson said. 

Starting next Tuesday, her students will get two science lessons a week. For the last month, she’s been putting those lessons together. 

“It’s a challenge,” she said. “I’m working harder here at home than I would be with the kids at school.”

Aside from the classwork, another challenge is missing her students. ​Martson submitted a video to 8News’ “Student Shoutout” segment last week. There, local teachers can send a 15-second video to be featured on-air.

“A huge shout out to my 7th-grade amazing science students. I miss you guys beyond measure. I think about you daily,” she said in the video. 

She said amid the pandemic, she will call every single student’s family, proving that teachers care about their kids, no matter where they are. ​

“That has probably been the most difficult is just worrying about my children,” Martson said. “What they’re doing and how they’re doing.”

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