Teachers, learning centers adapting with new strategies for virtual return to school

COOPER CITY, Fla. – Sarah Schubert will be teaching her 6th-grade language arts classes differently this fall.

Her classroom at Pioneer Middle School in Cooper City is ready, but when school starts Wednesday in Broward County, Schubert’s students won’t be in it.

She’ll be teaching them virtually because of ongoing concerns about COVID-19, and she worries about building personal relationships with students.

“I think it will be challenging to do over the Internet and through online platform, but I know that we’ll be able to do it, and I’m positive we’ll be successful in doing that,” Schubert says.

Cari Rodriguez, also a teacher at Pioneer Middle, sees another difference.

“We are not used to sitting so much,” she says. “Teachers are always used to moving around and doing our steps and actually get to see the kids, so that’s a little different.”

This pandemic has forced us to re-think education, and virtual instruction has also given private learning centers an opportunity to adapt their business model.

Down in The Roads area of Miami-Dade County, Tiniciti Preschool has evolved to now help children who are doing online learning — and parents who have daycare needs with their kids not going into school.

“Following guidelines that we’re given, we can create different classrooms and we are taking students up to 8th grade,” says Andres Raydan, the school’s vice president.

The space is there, and they’re charging half the price of regular tuition.

The same is the case at the Little Me Preschool in Pembroke Pines, where they have set up new virtual classrooms ready to take in nine students.

“It helps financially. It helps the parents,” owner Diana Portal says.

And it keeps teachers employed. For parents, it costs $165 a week.

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