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Why is virtual teaching a major challenge for educators?

Classes begin today in Cherokee County with a mixture of in-person and remote learning

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — ATLANTA – It’s time to go back to school, and many are facing the challenge of virtual teaching.

“We don’t know what works,” says Lisa Morgan, President of the Georgia Association of Educators. “We haven’t attempted different strategies.”

Cherokee County schools begin today with five days a week in-person classes. About a quarter of the parents have opted for their children to learn remotely. Some districts in metro-Atlanta have delayed the start of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Others are offering all virtual learning.

RELATED: Three-quarters of Cherokee County students to head back for in-person learning on Monday

Across the state, teachers got a taste of what’s to come when the last school year ended with remote classes. By then, they were familiar with the needs of individual students.

‘Some learn through hearing, some through reading, some through doing something,” says Morgan. “Finding a way to meet all of those things virtually is definitely one of the problems.”

Teachers will rely on a combination of videos and lesson plans sent home to students as well as live virtual discussions. Morgan says educators will have to replace some tried and true methods.

“We have cubes that have letters printed on them so children can put them together to make a word, and they’re not going to have that kind of thing at home,” says Morgan.

RELATED: CDC tool helps parents weigh risks of returning kids to school amid coronavirus pandemic

Parents will play an important role in helping teachers overcome the challenges.

“Communicate, communicate, communicate with your child’s teacher,” suggests Morgan. “Tell them about your child, what they’re interested in, what their activities are, what you’ve observed about how they learn best.”

Morgan also suggests that parents set a routine, setting a schedule that students have to follow as if they were spending each day in the classroom.