Teachers, families share wins and losses of at-home learning

SEATTLE -- The Covid-19 pandemic is changing the landscape of education.

Educators such as Christine Williams are relying on technology and learning new platforms to teach children online.

“My whole preschool is right here. That is unbelievable,” said Williams as she showed us her home classroom. “With preschool, you’ve got hands-on-learning and you’ve got thousands of dollars of material, but I can’t use them.”

Williams said teachers like herself are starting from scratch, and it feels like being a first-year teacher.

“Just experimenting a lot with what works and what can I email to parents and what kind of materials do I need to mail them,” said Williams.

Williams said she’s grateful to keep meaning in her life through teaching, but has concerns about children losing out on months of hands-on education.

“How do you do the sandbox and water playing online? I don’t know,” said Williams. “What do teachers do then once school starts and they’ve got who are completely different levels?"

School districts are tackling problems of equity and accessibility. That could mean loaning Chromebooks and launching WiFi hot spots.

“I heard of one school district where before they shut down they gave everybody a chrome book and they used school buses as free WiFi spots,” said Williams.

Q13 News talked with a Seattle family on Tuesday night. Sister and brother Liliana and Liam McLaughlin said they are keeping up with their studies in the morning and miss seeing their friends.

“It’s kind of stressful because school, we’re happy that it’s closed for the rest of the year, but also sad,” said Liam McLaughlin, fourth grade student. “It’s really stressful times right now.”

Their mom Sarah said she’s trying to keep the children on a schedule, and educating them about current events related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’ve had a lot of successes, but we’ve also had a lot of days that have just been big failures,” said parent Sarah McLaughlin. “Just trying to kind of go with that and work with it and wake up the next day and start again.”