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A Month Into Distance Learning, Local Teachers Are Still Adapting

Sandra and Chris Miller spoke with Bradley George on The State We're In. The State We're In/ Facebook / WMFE and WUSF Public Media

It’s been almost a month since Florida’s schools went entirely online.

Sandra Miller and her husband Chris teach high school in Pinellas County. She keeps adapting English assignments and grading to reflect online learning.

“That as a teacher has been my biggest struggle – making sure the kids still feel supported, still feel encouraged and they still feel motivated to get their assignments done,” she said.

The Millers were guests Wednesday on “The State We’re In” – a Facebook Live show from WUSF and WMFE in Orlando.

She knows not all her students have access to the resources they need. So she’s got a few priorities.

“Communication is big and on the teacher side, just being flexible, being understanding and patient that not everybody has the same resources,” Miller said.

Nearly 2.8 million children attend school in Florida. Coronavirus and stay-at-home orders mean schools across the state are closed until at least the summer.

The Millers also have two sons attending elementary school – at home.

The couple plans plenty of outdoor time for the kids and they try to create a structure to the school day. Chris says they appreciate when a teacher spends one-on-one time online with their son, working on math or other problems.

“We didn’t sign up to do this job for the money, that’s for sure. We’re about the kids at the end of the day, a lot of us are parents as well. You know, we’ll get through this,” he said.

To see the full conversation, visit The State We’re In Facebook page.

This story is produced in partnership with America Amplified, an initiative using community engagement to inform local journalism. It is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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