NewsGetting Back to School


Shaker Heights teacher concerned about impact of virtual learning

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Posted at 6:12 PM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 15:01:43-04

CLEVELAND — The anxiety that many students face with back-to-school routines is also shared by parents and teachers. Brittany Webb, a math teacher in Shaker Heights said virtual learning has stripped her of what makes her an impactful teacher.

“Essentially, we told the kids to get your stuff and go,” said Webb. “I haven’t spoken with some of my students. I haven’t seen many of them. That was a hard ending to a school year, knowing that I didn’t get to say my goodbyes. I didn’t get to say my congratulatory farewell. I didn’t get to do any of that. That’s a big part of being a teacher: celebrating your students’ successful year and wishing them well in the fall.”

Webb said COVID-19 protocols eliminate fist bumps and high fives. She is also concerned about students backsliding.

“It’s that in your face, in your space kind of up close and personal relationship, and authentic bond that you create with the students, you know, that’s at jeopardy now,” Webb said. "In order for a student to be successful, they have to know you believe in them. How do you do that through plexiglass? All my students know I love them. Every one of them, but that’s because of the intention relationships that I’ve formed with them.”

As a parent, Webb shares some of the same concerns as parents.

"The math teacher does not have the answer,” said Webb. “Numbers, you either have it or you don’t. It’s either the right answer, or it’s not. In this situation, there is no right answer. It’s just what you feel is best.”