Jefferson County teacher talks virtual learning experience

A day in the life of teaching virtually

BESSEMER, Ala. (WBRC) - The halls at McAdory High School are quiet. The desks are empty. Eleventh-grade English teacher Rhonda Hayde isn’t behind a podium.

Instead, Hayde is behind her desk and in front of her computer screen. That’s the new normal for teaching virtually.

“It was a huge transition for teachers. Everything we had wasn’t made for digital,” said Hayde. “We had to go through the process of taking everything we had accumulated over the years of teaching and put them into a digital format.”

Hayde has been a teacher since 1991 and has worked at McAdory for the last four years. Jefferson County started the year on a virtual learning schedule because of COVID.

Her day starts with morning meetings before class.

“7:45-8:30 faculty meetings, call parents, check in with students,” said Hayde. “At 8:30, we start our first period WebX.”

During her live lesson Thursday, Hayde walked students through how to build a strong essay, giving feed back in real time. Students alternate between live lessons with teachers some day and independent virtual learning days.

Between her live classes, Hayde squeezes in recording videos of lessons for students to watch on her own.

“The biggest challenge for teachers is time management. How do we make sure we can still meet the needs of all our students?” said Hayde. “What’s the best was to do it and do it well?”

Teachers also have built time into the day to have virtual parent conferences or tutorial sessions with students between classes.

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