CAPE CORAL, Fla -- In less than two weeks, Southwest Florida students will head back to the classroom. Teachers across the state are expressing a new concern when it comes to that return. It has to do with the way some will have to teach, to accommodate the different learning models due to COVID-19.
They're worried about those who'll have to teach virtual and in-person students at the same time. It's what teachers refer to as "simultaneous teaching." Some teachers believe that everyone gets shortchanged with this teaching style.
Part of the reason is how different in-person learning will be this year, with all of the COVID-19 safety precautions. Teachers will need to focus extra time and attention on making sure everyone in the classroom is kept safe. Some fear simultaneous teaching will mean students simply won’t get the proper attention they deserve.
"If I’m teaching face to face, I can give all my students all the attention I possibly can. If I’m teaching my students online, I can give them all the attention and everything that they need to the best of my ability from a distance. But if I’m doing both of those things at once, it’s asking teachers to wear a ridiculous amount of hats,” said Patrick Mugan, a teacher in Pinellas County.
Fox 4 checked to see whether simultaneous teaching is something we can expect to see in Southwest Florida.
The School District of Lee County said it is possible that some might:
It is possible that some might. The goal is to have as few as possible teaching both Lee Home Connect and a face to face class at the same time. The most common example given is at the middle and high school level where there could be an elective offered for only a couple periods each semester. The teacher of that class could have both students in front of them and watching them at home through zoom because of the difficulty in scheduling separate periods for a limited number of students. But again, the goal is to minimize this as much as possible.
Fox 4 is working to find out if this is something that might impact our other Southwest Florida school districts as well.