Elon education alumni shining and showing resilience in new era

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, K-12 public schools across the nation have stopped all in-classroom instruction, leaving educators to get creative so students can receive an education from home.

The education system has felt the impact of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), as teachers across the country are forced to get creative so their students can still receive an education.

Like many of Elon’s education alumni, Ali Thomas ’14, a first grade teacher at St. Matthew’s Catholic School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, has had to switch to digital teaching.

“In front of the classroom, it’s different,” Thomas said. “I can have them raise their hand, I can call on them, but I know I’m going to have 22 little bodies staring at me in a computer because it’s all live.”

Like many educators across the nation, Thomas is now connecting with her students via webcam. All her students join in on the daily call and can ask Thomas questions by typing a message or unmuting their microphone.

Even with the changes, Thomas said every minute together is better than the alternative.

“You know what,” Thomas said. “I’m doing something in the little hour that I have to make sure they’re learning something.”

Even though the classrooms may be empty for a while, teachers like Thomas say they’re prepared to teach their students this way for as long as they need to.