CHICAGO (CBS) — Instead of educating future leaders in a classroom, learning is taking place in kitchens and dens because of COVID-19. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, CBS 2 Morning Insider Lauren Victory visited a suburban home where the lesson plans are really flowing.
They share a school, and they share a home. Now Joe and Kerry Rejczyk share a hallway for both learning and living.
“Third, 4th, and 5th [physical education] is what I am,” Joe said.
Kerry said she has 28 math students on her roster, with two classes.
“I do have an advanced group of children,” she said.
The husband and wife teacher team left Woodland Intermediate School in Gurnee on March 13, not knowing school would be virtual for the rest of the year.
“Now I don’t have the projector in my classroom, and the chalkboard, so I have to use the online version of the math book and the tools,” Kerry said.
“The thing with PE is it’s almost impossible for us to meet. So we’ve tried to figure out how can we meet without doing Zoom,” Joe said. “I have 250 kids.”
The answer for gym: record video workouts. Joe uses an app for his special education classes.
“Parents and students can go on, and complete the task and assignments, and then leave us messages,” he said.
Almost two months in, they’ve had to rearrange their house a bit. Several adjustments later, the Rejczyks get an A+ on the working from home assignment, but Kerry said “something’s missing from this e-learning setup.”
“The hugs, the notes,” she said. “I miss that. I miss them so much.”
“That kid that comes in every day and gives you a hug, or a high five, or tells you about their baseball game,” Joe said.
School is almost out for the summer, but class may be at home even longer than that.
“This was a really good group of kids this year, and I won’t have that closure, if you will, with them,” Kerry said.
So what do the students think?
One parent insisted on calling CBS 2 to tell us Ms. Rejczyk’s transition from physical to online classroom has been “seamless.” Her daughter piped up in the background and said, “She’s awesome.”