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Mrs. Brinker on lingering lessons from the pandemic

13News Education Expert Jennifer Brinker joined 13Sunrise to discuss three potential long-term effects the pandemic could have on school.

GREENWOOD, Ind. — It’s been a bumpy ride for educators, kids and parents over the last year.

13News Education Expert Jennifer Brinker joined 13Sunrise Sunday to discuss three potential long-term effects the pandemic could have on school.

Mrs. Brinker on remote learning: 

Online learning/remote learning/e-learning - whatever your district calls it, it has been rough on a lot of families. That being said, there are definitely some families who are reporting that it is working well for their child. Whether it is due to health concerns, anxiety, behavioral concerns, or academics, some families feel like e-learning offers a wonderful opportunity for their child.  

In the past, families had very limited options when it came to e-learning for their Indiana student, but I think that this is going to change. Several district leaders across the state are currently working on plans to continue remote learning options for the 2021-22 school year for families interested in it, even if the pandemic is no longer a major concern.  

I think this is a really positive thing that will give more Hoosier families a personalized option from their very own local school district.

Mrs. Brinker on making up for missed education:

I don’t feel like we in schools are going to fully understand the long-term effects that are going to be coming from the amount of missed education. I’m not just talking about academic struggles, but social and emotional struggles as well.  As I speak to educators around Indiana, I am finding that the lack of student participation during virtual and hybrid learning is a major concern. 

DCS is currently overwhelmed with the amount of students who just seem to not be doing school at all right now. Many students across the state have enrolled in all virtual options and aren’t completing any work, logging in, or engaging in any way.  School administrators, teachers, and counselors are trying to do home visits whenever possible to check on student well-being and needs and often to no avail.  

This is the main battle that schools are having to fight right now and the lack of student engagement means that we will have a large population of students who are re-joining the school who are going to be very far behind. 

Mrs. Brinker on adaptability:

As hard as this year has been for teachers, parents, and students, I think we have grown and have become more adaptable. Let’s face it, how we did school is a thing of the past. Colleges and universities are constantly changing their delivery models and our students are going to need to be prepared for hybrid learning situations. 

More and more jobs are available in which people can work from home, and our students have now had some experience with that. I’ve seen teachers in my building learn and grow so much with their technological skills out of urgent necessity. I do want to make sure that I don’t diminish the growing pains that have come with this year, but keep in mind that growing pains occur when growth happens and I think we are going to come out of this with some new skill sets that will help us for years to come. 

Jennifer Brinker is Assistant Principal at Greenwood Middle School and regularly appears on 13Sunrise on Sunday mornings.

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