A sincere note from faculty to faculty

Contributed by Developmental English Faculty, Paula Khalaf

Everyone’s life is chaotic right now. I just want to briefly share one student’s story—hopefully to create some empathy for all students and instructors as they plan the remainder of the semester.

Emily has two young children, one of whom has special needs. She is home with both of them 24/7. Besides taking care of their basic needs of food and shelter, she has had to arrange speech therapy online for her daughter which requires using the only computer they have in the household. She also has to make sure both children keep up with their lessons—which requires the one computer they have. Emily stays up late at night while her children sleep—and don’t need access to the computer—to keep up with her math class that has moved from in-person to online. She says her instructor asked her to be online for a WebEx at a specific time next week. Emily’s concern: “I don’t even know what a WebEx is.”

My point is—everyone’s life is different right now. I am sure we have instructors experiencing many challenges that my student Emily is facing. I struggle to keep my head above water with cooking, cleaning, getting groceries to my parents, and trying to work from home-and I don’t have young children. This unprecedented situation requires instructors to rethink how to meet the course learning outcomes. That may mean that some assignments are completely transformed into something else—or even some that are just left in the dust. I am starting with—what is the minimum I need my students to do in order to master the course learning outcomes? How best can I communicate with them—phone, Zoom, WebEx? I can’t teach myself all of the technology quickly, nor can my students master it in addition to everything else going on in their lives right now.

Thank you for listening!


A Note from Professional Development:

Check out this article on one faculty member’s perspective on the situation that we are in today.

The volume of information that is being sent and received can be overwhelming.  Please refer to the Resources Page for more information.  While your transitioned course may not be perfect, your students need a quality, flexible course.  The greater message from LSC to all students is: “As we move closer to opening campus and resuming all classes April 13, we are going to be supportive and understanding in all that you’re dealing with. We’re here for you.”

Ask any questions you may have!

2 thoughts on “A sincere note from faculty to faculty”

  1. Thanks, Paula for sharing this. I am getting similar responses from students and it will surely be a challenge for everyone. Here is one that I’d like to share from an ESOL student:

    “I’m good. I’m taking care of my two little boys at home and my parents. We are a little worried for the bad situation around the world but praying to God every single day to keep us safe and health. My husband is out of the country, and my dad is going out to work.

    I’m busy all day. My kids are awake early, and I have to cook for them. Now we started online classes for one of my boys, and this has been hard to me. I’m not good with computers and everything is online. He is still little and needs my help to do at every point and to use the computer. Practically I do everything.

    I think it is going to be hard. Firstly because I’m not good with technology. Second, because the kids don’t let me use the computer, and they want to be with me touching it. Third, because I have to do it at night time when the brain is tired like I usually I do my homework when we have normal class because I have to wait when my kids are sleeping.”

  2. Hi, Paula and Madhu,
    We all can relate to the situation and I am too trying to stay sane planning my lessons, learning new ways to teach online, cleaning, cooking, hunting for groceries for myself and for my 85-year-old mother-in-law, all while dealing with two active teens who are bored out of their minds. We are all in the same boat and many of my students are writing to me that they are going through tough things in life.

    But the reason I decided to write this is the response to our out-of-class reader from one of my ESOL students that was due right after spring break. Here it is copy/pasted from our D2L discussion board:

    When I started reading this chapter, nobody cared about the Corona Virus. I had chosen another question for our homework, but now I decided to choose number 3 considering the situation we are experiencing. I think this chapter showed me that you don’t have to wait for an important date, you don’t have to have a lot of money, and you don’t have to go to a shopping center to buy something to give someone something special. Live the moment as if it were the last, do not wait for a special day to give a gift, a word of love, to greet and smile to the people you meet on the street. We are all like Josefina now, when her flowers were eaten by a goat and the flowers were dead. We feel frustrated that we cannot relate to society due to this situation. But if we follow the advice of others we can make the story better, just as Josefina spoke with Tia Dolores and she advised her.

    And so, every time I am about to feel overwhelmed, I take a deep breath, exhale, count my blessings and thank my student for this inspirational magic kick on my back. I know that this, too, shall pass, and that I will do everything in my power to help my students achieve the goals they want to achieve.

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