Northside Methodist Academy teacher gives inside look at teaching amid COVID-19

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, teachers across the country continue to educate their students via distance learning.

WDHN spoke with a Wiregrass teacher to get an inside look at how he continues educating amid a global pandemic.

Keyboard, mouse, computer screen. Those are the tools that Northside Methodist Academy art teacher Travis Nelson and his students have been using to communicate.

“This has been the command station for us and the kids as we’re going through this distance learning thing,” Nelson said.

For Travis and his students, each week begins with a video.

“(I) explain the project, what we’re doing, here’s what you need to do, give some examples, and then post that up,” Travis said.

But without access to their classroom, Travis has had to find ways to help students complete their assignments—no matter what supplies they may or may not have.

“If you have colored pencils, do it this way, if you only have pencils then do it this way, if you don’t have scissors or glue,” Travis explained.

At this point in the school year, many students (including Travis’ two daughters), and particularly his graduating seniors, have just one goal.

“They’re like, O.K., whatever I’ve got to do to get done with this year just let me know, I’ll do it. No hassle, and I’m ready to graduate,” Travis said.

When asked which is harder: working from home or working at school, the answer was easy.

“Working from home,” Travis said. “I’d much rather be in the classroom right now. I love interacting with the students. That’s 90% of why I love being a teacher, is the students and being able to connect with them and interact with them, so that takes the best part out of being a teacher.”

Despite the challenges, Travis says the results will be worth it.

“We didn’t want to take up anybody’s summer, we wanted our seniors to graduate with no issues,” Travis told WDHN. “So we’re making sure that we get everything done that we’re supposed to.”

Being a teacher; any time, any where.

In fact, when not teaching his own classes, Travis and his wife Chelsea, who is also a Northside Methodist Academy teacher, both work together to help their two daughters with their own schoolwork.

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