Teachers in the San Diego Unified School District started training for online teaching a week ago Tuesday.
That was the official beginning, but many teachers were doing it before then. It is a huge undertaking for the largest district in the county.
Julie Garcia, the program manager for district's Instructional Technology Department, said her team put together online lessons for students when the schools closed, and it also put on some training for teachers who asked for it. When the district moved to distance learning, “that’s when the team really ramped up our classes,” said Garcia, providing and delivering training.
“It’s been a crazy several weeks,” said Garcia, who has been working out of her parents’ motor home. One of the first steps is to help teachers set up their online classroom.
“If we want to assign something, as a teacher, we need to see what they’re doing with it, provide them feedback, give them comments, just like we would face to face in the classroom. That’s a lot of training for teachers.”
Garcia said the first week, 4,000 teachers took the training, though the number reflects those who took the training more than once.
"Teachers are excited to learn, they’re attending our sessions. We are receiving quite a bit of feedback about how it’s helping them to transfer to distance learning., she said.
Joanne Ensign teaches T-K and a kindergarten combo class at Oceanside Elementary School.
“The training is fantastic,” Ensign said. “Lots of time to do it, and all kinds of training to pick and choose from for what you want to do.”
Ensign said she has a slight advantage over some of the teachers being trained, as she teaches at a STEAM school. Still, she said “It’s new for everybody. I don’t know anyone who is not feeling a little frazzled.”
Ensign said everyone is figuring it out, and each day as more students log on for class, shows it will only get better. “So happy everyone is on! So, it’s going to get better, it’s going to get better we’re going to get a handle on this.”
The training is not required -- some teachers are already up to speed, others are doing it at their own pace. The goal is for all teachers to be online with their students in some capacity by April 27.