East TN moms give passing grade to virtual learning

We all know our loves changed forever when COVID-19 hit. When many of us started working from home, we had to adapt.
Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 6:22 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 19, 2021 at 10:26 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - We all know our lives changed forever when COVID-19 hit. When many of us started working from home, we had to adapt. Just like us our kids had to adapt with virtual school which can be tough for young minds.

Some East Tennessee parents shared discussed with me about whether virtual learning got a passing or failing grade.

Four students between three moms and two school systems sat down with me on Zoom Friday at lunchtime.

“I actually really love the system. I didn’t know what to expect going into virtual Kindergarten,” said Alyssa Carrell, who has a Knox County Kindergartener whose thriving.

Christy Cowan said it’s been a tough adjustment.

“I feel like our lives have been on pause,” said Cowan.

This Hamblen County mom of two said her daughters were also learning a thing or two in fifth and seventh grades.

“I think it’s a good system but there’s definitely been challenges too,” said Christina Ozuna.

For Ozuna’s Knox County fourth grader, focusing has been tough, but overall she likes virtual learning.

“When he’s called on he steps up, he loves it. But he’s shy. So if he’s not called on he’s not going to say anything,” explained Ozuna.

Some tips that have worked for these moms include talking with the teacher and checking in frequently to make sure students are on task.

“He broke down crying last week. I hate school I’m so sick of doing this. He’s burnt out on the virtual thing but I think it’s because he misses the interaction with kids,” said Ozuna.

During spring break this week, Ozuna put her son in a camp to help connect and play with friends.

“But what she’s really missing is those personal interactions that you can’t get virtually,” said Carrell, whose Kindergartener doesn’t get to hug her teacher.

Carrell’s daughter quickly learned independence and responsibility, even if she can’t tell time, they set a smart device to remind her when she needs to be in class or doing work.

All three moms work from home and they think being there during the day helps. Each of them gave virtual learning a passing grade.

“I think that the teachers have done an excellent job of rising to this challenge. This was a real challenge. And I think they’ve done a really good job of meeting our kids where they’re at,” said Cowan.

These moms plan to check in with their kids to see if they want to return to class in person next year before deciding what’s next.

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