By: Parker Meredith
A yellow light cascades over the teacher’s glasses and greying hair. He sits alone in the dark as the soft music plays, and the melodic tapping of his computer keyboard fills the air. It’s Monday night, March 31, 2020. Just two days before students return to learning, this time virtually. The teacher, who struggles greatly with technology, is forced to learn how to teach using only technology. He has been left alone in the dark, learning the new programs on his own.
“It has been very difficult,” said English teacher Scott Meredith (who’s also my dad). “I have had to learn how to use all new technological programs as well as adapt my lessons to be online.”
Meredith isn’t the only teacher to be left in such a precarious state. Virtually every school in the nation is shut down, and has moved to online classes.
The Bend-Lapine School District has also adapted a new program called Canvas in order to push out work. Summit has embraced this, and has begun pushing work out thought this system.
“The switch to Canvas is what I struggled the most with,” Meredith said. “I had no instruction and very little time to learn how to use it. This induced a great amount of stress and frustration into an already hectic time.”
On top of this, teachers have been forced to adapt lesson plans to teach virtually.
“All of my lessons are planned for me being face-to-face with students, and that simply can’t happen right now,” Meredith said. “I’ve had to adapt all of them so that I can teach them over Zoom or Webex, and the students will still get something out of it.”
Some teachers have been unable to push out their lessons virtually. Lisa Meredith, a culinary arts teacher at High Desert Middle School (aka, my mom) is one such teacher.
“For me it has been quite difficult,” Lisa Meredith said. “Normally my classes would be cooking, but now we have had to modify that. It makes it hard for me because I want to see my students develop lifelong skills, but it is nearly impossible to do when we can’t all be cooking.” Instead, Meredith has given out worksheets exploring the world of food.
As the night comes to a close, the teacher remains pounding on his keyboard. His progress has been frustratingly slow, and he has been mentally exhausted. When the sun shines the next day, it will only be a matter of time until a new problem faces him.