The skill set to teach during a pandemic comes naturally to Michelle Jett, the Marble Falls Middle School multimedia department production director and instructor. She and her students are well-versed in the technology needed for distance learning.
“Making videos isn’t something new to me because of what I teach,” she said, “For me, it’s actually been kind of easy.”
Her one major challenge has been keeping students engaged, positive, and focused in her class in spite of a taxing situation.
“I know a lot of kids might be stressed out with their core classes,” she said. “I want the things I’m assigning to be more fun, positive, uplifting things that still teach them what they need to know. I’m leaving out the not-fun projects. I’m doing the fun ones.”
Jett has students using their graphic design skills to communicate encouraging messages to their peers. They also keep a video journal to talk about their experiences under stay-at-home orders.
As the project proceeds, students are editing their footage to produce a mini-documentary detailing their pandemic experiences. For some, it’s a relief just to be able to vent.
“I had one student reach out and comment to me and say, ‘Thank you. It’s nice to be able to talk about it,’” Jett said.