Teaching tech students during COVID-19

Published: Apr. 6, 2020 at 5:22 PM EDT
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Schools from all over the country have moved online due to the coronavirus crisis, forcing educators to improvise. Our Kelly O'Brien found some teachers thinking outside of the box to get their lessons in.

School is out from COVID-19, but the kids still need to learn. What about the tech school kids? Teachers at CV-TEC have found creative ways to bring hands-on lessons into their students' homes.

Mike Drew has been in the building business for more than 30 years. The last 12 he's brought his expertise to the classroom.

"I guess I'm a teacher," Drew said.

He heads the construction trade at CV-TEC and is responsible for 29 11th- and 12th-graders.

"It's much different than it was before," Drew said.

He's had to restructure his course to be done all online, something that can be tough for such a hands-on trade.

"I'm not tech-savvy to begin with so making the videos I've learned a lot," Drew said.

He began taping how-to videos at home, adding a little humor.

"Building that rapport with the students has always been important and making them laugh is a good way to do that," Drew said.

And he isn't the only teacher rolling with the changes. Culinary arts teacher Tanner Senecal is also demonstrating for his students.

"It's a little corny, a little cheesy but they like that. It gets them laughing in this situation," Senecal said.

He has been at the school for three years but has been a lifelong chef.

He's getting used to teaching his 40 students online but says the videos help take the lessons out of the textbooks.

"The students come to CV-TEC to be hands-on, so paperwork and packets and things like that, they would not be enjoying that," Senecal said.

The changes haven't been easy on anyone but they are making the changes needed to their students can succeed.

"Trying to keep it balanced from bookwork and fun projects online so they don't lose interest and log-off," Senecal said.

Both Senecal and Drew say they can't wait to get back to the classroom for some real hands-on learning.

"I miss them all, I really do," Drew said. "I can't wait to see them again. Hopefully, it's this year."