US Texan Middle School Teacher says online schooling measures ‘have not been effective’ amid pandemic

“In Dallas schools, students have an entire week to turn in their assignments; however, 50% or less turn in their work, but most don’t turn in anything at all.” – Journalism & Social Studies Middle School Teacher Josh Ault

Texas: Covid-19 Hotspot

According to the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, Texas is the fourth leading state in the US who has over 530,000 confirmed Coronavirus cases. 

As these numbers continue to increase and taking into account that this has made it challenging for students to resume in-class learning, Texas’ schools have had to continue with online learning for the first few weeks for the Fall semester.

I spoke with Middle School Journalism & Social Studies Teacher Josh Ault who said, ‘it has been really crazy in the state of Texas’. Mr. Ault also said, the state of Texas has had to take serious measures in hopes to decrease the Coronavirus numbers.

“We were under the mandatory lockdown from when we left for Spring break, until just a few weeks ago – where they lifted the lockdown, so we can go back into restaurants and the gym.

However, there are still a lot of requirements. 

They just passed a couple weeks ago, masks have to be worn everywhere – at the grocery store, at the gym. 

So, that has caused a lot of people to be concerned.”

– Journalism & Social Studies Middle School Teacher, Josh Ault 

Video featured below: Teacher Josh Ault discussed with me how the pandemic has impacted the state of Texas as a whole and his School where he works at. Interview conducted on 17 July 2020. Duration 2:36.

Mr. Ault’s students struggle with online schooling measures

As school classroom seats remain empty in Mr. Ault’s classroom, Mr. Ault said it has been extremely tough on each child as they attempt to complete their assignments at home.

“I teach 12-14 year olds. They had a really hard time with online learning .

If you don’t have that one-on-one interaction where you are able to talk with them, it’s difficult. 

Zoom is okay, but it’s just not the same thing. You don’t know what the kid is doing on the other side.” 

– Journalism & Social Studies Middle School Teacher, Josh Ault

Mr. Ault said, the hardest part about online teaching has been the fact that it’s been extremely challenging to get students to submit their work in a timely manner. He said, as for the Dallas school systems, they made a requirement for all students to submit their work in a week’s time every week; however, students have not been submitting their assignments within this time frame. 

“I’ve had less than 50% of my students submit their work. 

Most of the time what they turned in wasn’t exactly what was asked of them to do. So if they aren’t applying themselves, reading, and watching the videos I would send them, then they just wouldn’t get it. 

So even giving them a week, a lot of them didn’t turn in the material that I gave to them. 

So, I really don’t think online schooling is effective.”

– Journalism & Social Studies Middle School Teacher, Josh Ault 

Fortunately though, all students at Mr. Ault’s school who did not have access to a computer at home were provided with one just before lockdown measures were implemented. Mr. Ault’s school received these computers through a grant, as well as other schools in Dallas, Texas.

However, even though the students have these resources, Mr. Ault said some students still struggled to submit their assignments on time, because some students just didn’t have enough parental supervision or some simply had internet connection issues at times. 

Moreover, Mr. Ault said online schooling is just not effective for Middle School students as many students don’t have the self-discipline as a college student might have. 

Video featured below: Middle School Teacher Josh Ault shares more with me how his students have adjusted to the online learning. Interview conducted on 17 July 2020. Duration 5:11.

©Stock image – 1676998306 – By Rido

Expectations of how school will reopen amid pandemic

Above image: Provided by Journalism & Social Studies Teacher Josh Ault

Mr. Ault said, face masks will be required once schools resume as well as social distancing will be put in place amongst students and the teachers; however, having a capacity of 900 students, Mr. Ault is hesitant to believe that will be an achievable objective.

“I think starting the school year online, we have to see how that goes. 

I’m hoping that the vaccine will be approved so that can start being rolled out, because right now I just don’t see how we can have school.

If one teacher or student gets sick, it’s just going to spread.

It’s kind of scary. I don’t think we can go back to school until these numbers go down.” 

– Journalism & Social Studies Middle School Teacher, Josh Ault 

Moving forward, Mr. Ault said parents will have the option to have their kids continue with online learning or they can attend in-school classes if they wish, but either way this will be a challenge for him, his teacher faculty, and his students. 

Video featured below: Mr. Ault shares with me how measures will be implemented at his school and how achievable he believes it will be. Interview conducted on 17 July 2020. Duration 3:23.

©Stock image – 1737631289 – By cr8tiveshotz

Mr. Ault offers a personal message to his students:

“Hang in there and strive to continue to learn.

If you don’t have the greatest home life, I hope that you can continue to read books and search for things on the internet.

Continue to do your best and continue to learn. 

Stay positive. Make goals. Strive to stay focused and we will get back to normalcy.

Just do your best and be happy during these tough times.” 

– Journalism & Social Studies Middle School Teacher, Josh Ault 

Video featured below: Journalism & Social Studies Middle School Teacher Josh Ault offers a personal message to his students. Interview conducted on 17 July 2020. Duration 1:53.

Above image: Featuring Middle School Teacher Josh Ault

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