Bryan ISD teachers, students share experiences with distance learning

Published: Apr. 14, 2020 at 5:43 PM CDT
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Bryan ISD students are learning new lessons as the COVID-19 crisis continues.

Teachers are also adapting to how they teach virtually, for now.

Bryan ISD has issued out around 5,000 Chromebooks to help students stay connected with their teachers and learn new curriculum. Other students are using family computers and smartphones they already have at home to stay in school. Paper handouts are also an option.

Students tell us they are learning their lessons but are ready to be back on campus.

Fifth grade student Christina Lucio is like thousands of other students in Bryan ISD.

During school days she's spending lots of time learning lessons on the computer from her teachers and when needed, asking questions.

"So basically, we go to one of the lessons, so math right now, and then its like school hours," explained Lucio. "It’s been great so far because I have all my lessons on my computer on Schoology."

But it's been a big adjustment.

“I really don’t like it because I’d rather be with my friends and my teacher," Lucio said.

KBTX talked to Lucio's teacher Amy Gryzmala, a Sam Rayburn Intermediate School Teacher, and SFA Middle School Teacher Esmari Yezak about how they are adjusting to virtual instruction.

"I miss all my students so much and it’s been really hard not to see them face to face. But it’s been really nice to connect with them through Google Hangout or through messages on Schoology," said Gryzmala. "We’ve been trying to be available to families as much as possible."

“One thing that was really evident this first week was we all are learning and working the kinks out of this system, figuring out how to best support our students, providing the structure that they get in the normal school day but being able to facilitate that online," said Yezak.

The teachers also showed what their teaching areas look like from home.

"We're just over here at the dining room table," said Yezak.

The teachers said their schedules have also changed working at home and they are trying to helps parents and students with questions.

The coronavirus has teachers and students both adapting to learning.

"I want to go back to the classroom. I’d rather be in the classroom," said Lucio.

Another 5th grade student Justin Crutchfield told KBTX he's working on the new studies daily but also misses his friends and being at school.

Parents like Jennifer Marez, who also has a fifth grader in Mrs. Gryzmala's class said they are adjusting to the new ways of learning by homeschooling. She said the adjustment to the app Schoology has gone well for her son Javier.

BISD hopes to resume classes in person on May 4 but those plans are still tentative based on what happens with COVID-19.

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