Because she says she doesn’t feel physically safe in a school building, her workspace is now a tiny teardrop-shaped trailer conveniently parked in her driveway. PORTLAND, Ore. – A local woman who is both a teacher and a mother of a distance-learning child has found a simple solution to juggling the two roles. Jackie Jaffe’s daughter Ali is a fourth grader who just wants to be involved in what her mother is doing, even though Jaffe is in the middle of her virtual workday. “I teach in grade one in the Reynolds School District at Alder Elementary,” Jaffe said. “She was coming running here. She wanted to meet my children. She wanted to be a part of everything I did, ”she says. “It became very clear that if we could have our own separate spaces that would be good.” Because she says she didn’t feel physically safe working in a school building, her workspace is now a small, teardrop-shaped trailer that her family bought for camping trips during the summer. It is conveniently parked in its driveway. It took a bit of trial and error to adjust to the new workspace. “I blew the fuse because it’s plugged into the house and we didn’t know how much it could take,” Jaffe said. This has all been sorted out and Jaffe says she’s starting to go into a groove. The Ongoing Challenges of Distance Learning As we have heard from other teachers, things are not easy. Attendance and participation remain difficult issues to resolve. “I have kids who haven’t done any work at all, so I really don’t know where they are. I have a few that have only been online once or twice, ”Jaffe said. She said one of her students hadn’t said a word in class since the start of the year, although he logs into class every day. “I don’t know what she’s struggling with. I don’t know how to help him. I am really lost as a teacher. I don’t know if I’m teaching him anything. I mean I hope, because she’s there every day but I don’t know, ”Jaffe said. “I’m worried. I mean it’s a population that worries me in general anyway. She said many families at the school were low-income and underserved. Many students were already struggling before the pandemic. “We have a lot of kids who just aren’t ready. They just aren’t at grade level. Whether it’s their reading skills, math or writing skills,” Jaffe said of the students before pandemic. She said the teachers and administrators at her school were working hard, focusing on equity and desperately trying to figure out how to make the program work for the children. In terms of making sure the children learn during distance learning, Jaffe said teachers spend hours developing lessons. “Doing a lesson that takes them 10 minutes might take me an hour to do. So it might take time.” , Jaffe said. Additionally, she said it was difficult to try to make learning fun and entertaining through a screen. Some positives associated with distance learning There are a lot of barriers, but Jaffe said there are positives. Jaffee said there were more opportunities to tailor their lessons to meet the needs of their students. Additionally, since class time is recorded, Jaffe said that a speech-language pathologist can listen to the recording and hear the sound that a student might need help pronouncing. Jaffe said she could sometimes better assess if a child needed more help on a certain topic. “I hear mom giving him the words, so I know he’s not here yet,” Jaffe said. “The other thing I love is that I can do small groups, I can literally keep two to three kids online, say goodbye to others and work on a skill they need,” he says. she. For now, she’s just rolling with the punches. “We ride as best we can,” Jaffe said. She said the teardrop trailer works pretty well, so she plans to use it during the winter as well.
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