Snapshot of virtual learning shows all it takes to teach kids at home

Only on News 8 Now
Jenn Facebook Post

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)- Many of us are still adjusting to life during a pandemic, working from home, or going to work while our kids are learning from home. Teachers are caught in the middle trying to manage both.  A struggle that for educators is personal.

The silence speaks volumes.  A snapshot in time of the state of our schools. Empty hallways, vacant desks, and teachers like Jennifer Voigt, struggling to make virtual learning work. “It’s hard. It’s really hard and it’s hard for a lot of reasons.”, explains the 20 year education veteran.

The Central High School science teacher and her colleagues are navigating a new normal.  Teaching through screens for safety. “That’s the other part of this that just so hard, because I miss kids.”

There is no upload and go.  Moving her lessons online has taken Voigt countless hours to re-imagine and implement. ” I’ve never worked so hard in my whole life, but it’s the right work ” Time logged long after the school day. Time critics of virtual learning don’t often give teachers credit for. “There are people saying teachers not to be paid until kids are back in class.”, says Voigt.

Voigt posted a picture to social media.  A snapshot of all the devices, Post-It notes, lesson plans, and other tools needed for just one day of school work. “Its kind of difficult feel like I have to defend my profession and the people who are trying to do their best for all of their students”.

Voigt’s kids, away from the classroom, are never far from her thoughts. Pointing to her bulletin board with 20 years worth of students’ pictures, Voigt didn’t think twice when asked whether all the hours are worth it. “Those kids on that bulletin board that’s, that’s it; students”

When kids eventually return to the classroom, it will be the first time Mrs. Voigt says has met some of them. She told News 8 Now, she will probably cry happy tears.