Schools in Ohio have been closed for nearly a month now and look to stay that way for the foreseeable future.
For most students, that means making a number of new adjustments — and its not easy, especially for those with special needs.
Leslie Bucklew, a special education teacher from Geauga County, says its been a huge change for both her and her students. Her goal is to support them and their parents and encourage them to set schedules and have consistency at home by taking her classroom digital.
Bucklew is a teacher with the Educational Service Center of the Western Reserve's Building Resiliency in Children program. It serves kids in Geauga and Lake counties.
She teaches kids in first grade through fourth grade, supporting them socially and emotionally, to help them move into the general education population at school.
Now unable to meet in person, she’s doing 30 minute sessions with her students on Zoom.
She’s also using Google Classroom to post assignments and quizzes.
“I have actually just used my cell phone to record myself reading some therapeutic books that are about like, social and emotional learning aspects like worry and things like that, so that they can still see my face, and that they can still hear a story everyday,” Bucklew said.
Bucklew says many of their parents are essential workers, so she’s made her lesson plan flexible to accommodate them. So she’s worked with parents one on one to come up with plans to fit their needs.
“I think that they are appreciative and they're just doing whatever needs to be done for the students because i mean, really, what's the biggest goal is to get through this year and still learn so we're just a team, we're working together.” Bucklew says she did a “soft start” with parents this week to get them up to speed with the technology.
On Monday, she says all of the students will get together for a group zoom call to socialize and do what she calls “play therapy”.