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Educators rely on videos and social media to connect with students during COVID-19 crisis

Remote instruction is part of the new routine for teachers, students and parents across North Texas


Educators across North Texas are preparing for the new routine of setting up remote classrooms.

Remote learning is becoming a sign of the times and the new normal, for now, as school districts respond to public health concerns over COVID-19.

“Good Monday morning Aviators,” Lesley Rhodes shouts, as she greets students and staff in a series of daily videos she’s posting on Facebook.

Rhodes is the principal of James and Barbara Adams Elementary School in Arlington Independent School District. She said morning announcements are part of a routine students have become used to.

Rhodes explained, "That’s my time to get the kids excited, to get the staff members excited."

Now, she is continuing the morning announcements as a way to motivate, inform, and educate students, parents and staff while they’re at home and engaging in remote learning. 

In another video Rhodes explained, "We are going to be away from each other for just a little while, so that we can make sure that everyone is safe.”

Remote instruction is what many educators and families are adapting to. 

Cedar Hill ISD English Teacher Camille Holmes is also among those preparing students for virtual classrooms. She is posting daily videos for students.

“Happy first week of virtual learning,” Holmes told her students in a video she posted on line this week. "Hopefully, you’ve been doing some of the assignments.”

She knows change can be a challenge. 

"The only way that I can help you, is you have to communicate what it is that you need right now,” Holmes told her students.

Educators say as the days and weeks go on, communication will be key with remote learning. That’s whether students are picking up work packets from school buildings or taking lessons online. 

“I think it’s important to recognize the emotions that are involved in being in such a situation,” Rhodes added. “Make sure that we talk to kids.”

Teachers at many school districts across North Texas are making regular calls to students’ parents and guardians to prepare for remote instruction plans.

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