Teachers, students, parents adjust to digital learning strategies

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FARMERSBURG, Ind., (WTWO/WAWV)– Sandra Faber is a parent and junior high Language Arts teacher at St. Anthony’s Catholic School in Effingham.

Faber said she and her family are adjusting to their new normal of learning and teaching from home, but she said their biggest challenge is finding balance.

“I’m getting myself into the mind frame to be at work, even though I’m at home. So, I have set up my own little work space in my dining room with my laptop and my iPad. I have my own kids set up their own work spaces in different places,” she said.

However, Faber noted that being able to teach and work remotely allowed her and her family to spend more time together.

“With schedules slowing down, with no outside activities, it allows us all more time to sit down. Not only as a family, but also one-on-one to do things,” she said. “I can go into the kitchen and bake something with one of my daughters, and have a nice conversation or I can go down in the basement and visit with my son and talk about what’s been going.”

Mandy Buskirk is a fourth grade teacher at Eastern Greene Elementary. She said her main priority is providing her students with a sense of normalcy, especially in her lesson planning.

“I’m trying to keep it as normal as I can and also as familiar of activities. It’s not something where the kids are like I’ve never done this before! I don’t know what I’m doing,” Buskirk said.

She said it’s been difficult not being able to be in her students’ presence, but they’re implementing new ways to gather outside the classroom.

“We divided them up into three groups and they logged onto zoom,” she said. “We asked them how’s your week going? What’s the favorite thing you did this week? Were there any problems that you’ve had with the work this week? What’s something cool that you want to share with the group? And the kids– I needed it just as much as they did.”

Buskirk said it’s important for parents and teachers to work together during this uncertain time.

“We’re still there for you. Even though we’re not with the kids right there. We still want to be there for them, through this digital learning.”

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