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Local educators gear up for new school year online

Teachers prepare for a school year online
Teachers prepare for a school year online

OXNARD, Calif.-- Teachers have just about a month left to plan for online learning in the new school year. Many teachers have spent all summer training to teach remotely.

“I have not been here since March,” said Allison Holicky, who is the English teacher at Pacifica High School.

Holicky's last day in the classroom was Friday, March 13th.

“My students are like my children so I feel like I was evicted without a chance to say goodbye,” said Holicky.

Holicky had to quickly shift to online learning-- and that will continue this fall. Governor Gavin Newsom announced last week most schools-- including those in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties-- will continue distance learning. Now teachers have less than five weeks to prepare.

“It is going to look much different,” said Holicky. “I might have to create my first Tik Tok video so the kids think I am cool.”

The real issues for many teachers is building a foundation with the students.

“How do I build a sense of community and relationship which is so important in distance learning when they do not know me,” said Holicky. “My focus is how do I get to know them as people through a screen?”

Many teachers worked through summer break to get ready.

“It has been a summer of research,” said Holicky. “Trying to find these answers that no one has. No politicians have these answers, no teacher, no student, no parents asked for this. We are attending webinars and becoming google certified educators, in order to do the best job possible for these kids.”

“All summer long I have filled this entire pad with notes from six professional development online things I’ve done,” said Kristin Dodge, who is a 8th grade teacher at Frank Middle School in Oxnard.

Dodge had to train herself on the latest technology.

“There is all sorts of great tools for the tablet that will show me if the students logged into the computer at this time, and they spent this much time doing it, and they answered this question,” said Dodge.

Many teachers locally and nationally have come together to share ideas and feedback.

While many teachers feel prepared for the new year, many others worry they are not prepared enough.

“Ugh, on paper yes,” said Holicky. “Emotionally not even close.”

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Senerey de los Santos


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