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Boys and Girls learning pods welcoming kids from different schools

“It has definitely been a learning curve for us and then definitely for our kids and our families,” said Wigley.
Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 11:31 PM EDT
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MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Teaching students came natural to Erin Wigley, but she says the strange classroom set up took some getting used to.

“It has definitely been a learning curve for us and then definitely for our kids and our families,” said Wigley.

Erin’s a learning pod teacher at Maryville’s Boys and Girls Club. She’s basically in charge of kids who learn through different schools at the same time.

Her students came from Blount County, Alcoa City and Maryville City Schools.

Kids noticed the difference too. They wore masks, sat socially distanced and learned from a virtual teacher utilizing their Chromebooks.

“It’s just really hard because it’s not like you’re face to face with your teacher,” said Angel Pineda, a fifth grade student who struggled because she’s wanted to ask her virtual teacher questions in person.

Pineda has been learning under Wigley’s supervision and learned she has to have her own materials as well.

“You need your own supplies because the teacher can’t give you stuff any more,” explained Pineda.

In a classroom with only nine students, Wigley said she helped them focus on important tasks.

Something these students do each day was write down a learning goal with the hope of accomplishing it by the end of the day.

“That let’s me kind of help pace them about where they are because it’s overwhelming for me, as an adult,” said Wigley.

Wigley said in some ways the pandemic forced teachers to become the students.

Limited spots are available at the Maryville location (Fort Craig) for the Boys and Girls Club.

There are three locations that will open on Monday in Knox County for students. Those locations are: Middlebrook, Halls/Powell and Haslam. The program is open to Kindergarten through 8th graders.

Boys & Girls Club is hiring seasonal workers through December 31st paying between $9-$12 per hour based upon experience. Retired/former educators and college students are encouraged to apply. Morning and afternoon shifts are available.

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