Here’s what 14 Tennessee students want you to know about life and education under COVID-19
Ambitious. Uncertain. Hopeful. Anxious. Woke. Confused.
That’s what middle and high school students across the state said they were feeling during a panel discussion last week hosted by Chalkbeat Tennessee and the Education Trust in Tennessee.
In a two-part virtual event series, 14 students ranging in age from middle school to college spoke to how the coronavirus has affected and impeded their learning this year. They also offered suggestions for parents, teachers, and community leaders on how to support young people during this time and into the coming school year.
The state’s largest school district, Shelby County Schools, was among the first five districts to close in early March. Tennessee’s remaining 142 school systems followed suit as the coronavirus pandemic spread, and Gov. Bill Lee urged districts to close for the rest of the academic year. This leaves students with an unprecedented break from school buildings – most students will miss up to 19 consecutive weeks of in-person instruction once summer break is factored in.
The students’ experiences showcased the vast range of approaches to remote learning that districts have taken.