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‘We are up. We are working! We are still lesson planning’: Fulton County teacher gives glimpse of new reality educators face

'So, they know how to use technology at home for TikTok, but this way for productivity is a bit more of a switch,' said Kiana Willis.

PALMETTO, Ga. — On a day where cars are usually lined up outside to drop kids off, where buses pack the parking lot to do the same and where teachers and administrators are inside setting up for the day, it’s complete silence at Palmetto Elementary School in Fulton County.

“My days now are getting up. Making sure that I try to get a routine. I check to make sure that I don’t have any notifications from parents.," said teacher Kiana Willis. "We [my teammates] basically have planned out lessons for the week."

Teachers like Willis are forced to educate remotely, due to school closures over the coronavirus. She teaches at Palmetto Elementary School.

The school is just a snapshot at the new reality for teachers, students and parents.

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“So, Monday is reading. Tuesday is math,” she said.

Willis said she also teaches live science lessons too. However, learning does have its challenges.

“So, they know how to use technology at home for TikTok and they know how to use it to play games and to watch videos, but this way for productivity is a bit more of a switch," she explained. "Especially when there’s no one there guiding you through the process."

“Fulton County has done a lot to get technology in our students' hands so they can participate in these digital lessons, because we had a lot of students who did not have the technology and there are students who still don’t have it,” she added.

Willis said the school spent two weeks pushing the necessary devices and technology to students to make sure they can participate in live lessons.

“We are up. We are working!  We are still lesson planning," she said. "We are still trying to find the most innovative ways to meet the needs of our students. Not just academically but their basic needs and their social, emotional needs."

She said she really misses her students. 

Willis also mentioned that teachers through the school district are leaning on each other for support by sharing lesson plans and encouraging one another. 

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