Remote learning provides routine changes, challenges during COVID-19 pandemic

Gavin Ewen, Sectional Editor

For EGHS sophomore Brady Tosterud, it was a big adjustment to get used to the new routine.

“E-Learning has been going pretty good so far, but it still doesn’t feel like real school,” Tosterud said via Snapchat. 

On April 3, Elk Grove High School and all Township High School District 214 schools began remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has changed many aspects of the traditional school environment and workflow as students and staff were ordered to stay at home because of the outbreak in March. 

Through remote learning, EG teachers have been required to give students at least one assignment over the course of the week. As of April 6, per the Illinois State Board of Education guidelines, assignments could not lower the students grade — they could only go up. 

Some in the EGHS community are having to adapt to the new changes. English and yearbook teacher Lisa Martineau said that the teacher meetings every week are helping her get more immersed with the technological aspects of the new remote learning routine. 

“I spent a lot of time preparing materials for this before it began, so I had the basics ready,” Martineau said in an email. 

Many staff members have used the video chat app Zoom to see and check-in with their students. Throughout the week, the app has been used to teach, explain or give assignments, or simply as a way for teachers to make sure their students are healthy and doing well.

“I’ve done five [Zoom’s], one for each class,” Martineau said in an email. “Some [Zooms] were more successful than others, in terms of participation.”

Martineau, like many teachers, also said that due to the circumstances, her routine has changed. She is used to waking up at 5 a.m. Now she takes an extra hour and wakes up at 6 a.m. 

Freshman Anthony Jilwaya said in an email that he enjoyed the remote learning during the first week and looks forward to continuing it in the coming weeks.

“We didn’t have to wake up super early like we usually do, and I like the technology part of this learning,” Jilwaya said in an email.

Through all of the changes, there has been an emphasis to monitor the wellbeings of students, staff members, and themselves. One tough aspect of the new remote learning routine for teachers like Martineau is not being able to go to school every day and seeing their students and colleagues in person. 

Martineau said in an email that she has been enjoying reading at home and being able to connect with her students via Zoom. 

And as a bonus, she said she is especially happy with the way her students are handling the situation and getting their work turned in on time.