JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Now that schools across the state have temporally closed their doors to prevent an outbreak, students and staff members experience a new normal: technology-delivered instructions.
Ms. Lee Waits’ class is usually filled with happy students, but the threat of coronavirus has forced Jackson Prep to close its doors. Now the more than 750 students enrolled have shifted to learning online through the Google platform.
“I like being able to carry on what we are doing all year long and not stopping and they are with me. So I like helping them every step of the way. I am teaching like a regular classroom world,” said Waits.
Here is how it works. Instead of showing up for class at the school, five days a week students log in to virtual classrooms and interact with the teachers and other classmates via video chats.
In fact, the teachers can speak directly to the students and answer questions in real-time.
“So we are really running a full school day. It looks different and it feels a little different, but we were really engaged in learning and teaching our students and there is a key part: engaging with our students and teachers and the students being together,” said Head of School Lawrence Coco.
A little fun is also added to this new remote learning to keep the students spirits high as they adjust to being away from friends at school.
“I am kind of a goofy teacher,” Waits admits. “I’ve kind of been wearing fun hats and just singing my same songs and it’s fun to have just a little bit of normal and they are not just sitting there trying to figure out everything on their own.”
This is the fourth week Jackson Prep is working online. The students admit this is an adjustment, but it helps to see a familiar face as they work to make grade.
“I like it a lot. I feel like we are slowing down a little better to kind of understand the subject better even though we are not allowed to be together with our teachers,” said one student.
“We have all taken it kind of hard, but we are learning and working hard and the teachers are doing a really good job,” said another.