BY KARISSA MILLER
In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Roy Cooper ordered the closure of all public schools in the state through May 15.
Cheryl Styers is the mother school-age children and an Iredell-Statesville Schools teacher who is now working from home.
Styers, a National Board-certified teacher who belongs to several professional teachers’ groups, is proud of how I-SS has responsed to the coronavirus crisis.
“It’s appalling what some districts are requiring of their teachers and students during this crazy time,” Styers explained.
Some school districts are requiring teachers to record two hours of recorded lessons per day.
“These teachers are spending 10 to 12 hours online per day working because they are being required to have their students do seven hours of work daily,” she explained.
The approach taken by I-SS, Styers said, will help students, teachers and staff stay safe and allow students to learn without adding to the stress of the situation.
“By granting teachers autonomy and not expecting too much of students, you have made the best of a stressful situation,” she said.
“My kids are still learning and reviewing but they are not stressed in this new environment.”
Styers’ said her children are both Academically Intellectually Gifted (AIG) and are receiving support from their teachers.
“Many of our students struggle and have little support. Expecting seven hours of work from them per day would either shut them down or put them further behind,” Styers said.
For many teachers, online teaching has been “their worst nightmare,” she added.
Two weeks ago Styers helped some of her co-workers transition to Canvas, an Internet learning platform.
“I literally saw one of them burst into tears in frustration. That’s how teachers across the state are feeling,” she explained.
Styers said I-SS made a sound decision and provided appropriate support while still allowing teachers autonomy to do what is best for their students.
Lake Norman High School parent Clare Pieratt agreed.
“I applaud their creativity. They are not bogging the kids down with busy work … the assignments have thought put behind them and you can really tell the work and effort going into these planning assignments,” said Pieratt said.
She applauds the district for its “forward thinking … during a very difficult time.”
Superintendent Brady Johnson said that I-SS response has not been perfect, but he’s very pleased with everyone’s effort and attitudes during this challenge.