Teachers finding ways to stay connected with students during eLearning

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) Students won't be returning to their schools for the rest of the year. Instead, they'll finish up at home.

16 News Now learned how teachers and students are staying connected even when they won't be face to face for the rest of the year.

Students normally see their teachers in person everyday, but that's no longer the case.

Now they're finding new ways of staying connected.

"That relationship is really important with teachers seeing their students and vice versa, and we want to continue improving and refining our practice to really engage students for the remainder of the year," said South Bend Community School Corp. Chief Academic Officer Dr. Susan Devetski.

She says their attendance numbers for eLearning are nearly the same as those from before the pandemic.

They continue to try to improve through feedback from students, families, and teachers.

"Some of the students were saying that some of the assignments were a little too lengthy so we've given that feedback directly back to teachers," she said.

A teacher in Plymouth is learning about challenges students face with the switch to eLearning by following up.

"I reached out to mom and asked because it's not fair to give somebody a zero or incomplete missing work if they don't have internet," said Plymouth High School Media Teacher Judi Lykowski.

Lykowski's class made a coronavirus PSA by working together from home.

Some students say there are some things they miss about being in class.

"I took a lot of things for granted. A lot of people don't realize how much they miss school until it's gone," said Plymouth H.S. Junior Tyler Richey.

"I like being able to see my friends that I don't see out of school and my teachers and just being able to go to my electives," said Plymouth H.S. Freshman Denice Guillot.

Even though they no longer see each other everyday, teachers are still making time for their students.

"Teachers are very open. They have Google Hangout so we can all join and they'll help us. Some teachers even teach the lessons on them and you're able to ask questions live I think it's really good that they're able to do that," Guillot said.

The switch to eLearning is an adjustment for both South Bend and Plymouth School corporations, but teachers are going the extra mile to make sure their students are still learning.