Keene State College’s education department modifies for COVID-19

Sean Keohane / Arts Director

Tim Wagner
Student Life Editor

When COVID-19 hit, schools were closed down.

When the country was placed on hold, so were education majors. Keene State College is home to a large percentage of future teachers. Keene State College professor Alison Adams highlights the education department’s shift to accommodate the methods class during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adams said she heard previous conversation about not being able to predict what the next semester would bring. Eventually, the spring semester arrived and Adams said right from the get go the department knew that methods one was not going to be able to get field placement. Adams also said, “It was with a heavy heart we even went into that first class discussing it with our students, and we knew even at that point we were really going to have to use some ingenuity and creativity to provide them the most authentic experience they could without going into the classroom. Professor Adams and her colleague Professor Griffen have been calling upon past techniques with their students. Adams said since both sections are being taught at the same time the course received permission to co-teach the class with her colleague professor Griffen. Adams also said while she was at Keene State her methods class was co-taught. Technology has taken a priority in the COVID-age of teaching.

Adams said the education department is integrating the video sharing tool GoReact. Adams explained GoReact is a video application that allows student teachers to record themselves teaching and receive real time updates while they are teaching. Adams said she even wished she had this software when she was student teaching and in the field. Adams also said “We are already setting up some opportunities for them to do some of these assignments either by video to these classrooms so they can actually be teaching them to students live or I just secured today and I was really excited with a local school where they will get to do one of their assignments with a classroom outdoors.”

Keene State College junior Lily Flynn said she knew she wanted to be a teacher before she even decided she was attending Keene State. Flynn explained, “I don’t want to generalize but ed[ucation] majors love being with kids.” Flynn also said the lack of in class experience has changed her course track at Keene State. Flynn explained, “I got into Methods One early. I thought I would be in Methods Two this semester and student-teach the fall of my senior year and graduate early, and I was scared. I didn’t want another missed opportunity so I waited. I didn’t sign up for Methods Two I wanted to wait until next year to hopefully get the best chance of being in-person.” Flynn also said she knows a lot of people who were pushing their Methods One class to the spring in hopes that things would be looking better for the spring semester in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. Flynn said it was a little hard to hear the education department say “they have time, they will figure it out,” instead of figuring out various different solutions for the Methods One class. However, Flynn said she understands the task given to Keene State with this class, but it is hard that one way or another students are missing something that is a foundation for their overall college experience.

Flynn and Adams both said seeing the support among the education department has made them very proud. Flynn said “We all understand this sucks and as hard as it was it was nice to not be alone and to feel like we were all in the same boat.”

Adams said, “We go into our classroom and close our doors and very few people know what the experience is, and because of the challenges we are now facing with COVID I think it has opened more doors to sharing and supporting one another, when we meet as a department that is a lot of the conversation.”

Even though COVID-19 has shut down schools across the nation, Keene State’s education department keeps the lights on.

 

Tim Wagner can be contacted at:
twagner@kscequinox.com

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