Education majors adjust graduation requirements to finish semester

Education majors across Baylor have been forced to rework how they serve school districts with online course materials. Brittney Matthews | Multimedia Editor

By Camille Rasor | Reporter

The past few weeks of COVID-19 quarantine and social distancing have left many education majors asking how the move to online classes will work when previously they would be in a classroom teaching children in order to finish their degrees.

As a part of their degree plan, education majors must spend the three of their last four semesters teaching in the classroom in some capacity. Since Baylor’s announcement that students would not be returning from spring break, both the school of education and those students who were student teaching had to adjust their plan to finish out the semester.

On March 17, the school of education put out a statement regarding their plan for several course requirements for students all over the school of education. The statement said they made these decisions in cooperation with Baylor and the Texas Education Agency.

In regard to those who were in the middle of student teaching courses, the statement said that those enrolled in those courses “will not be required to participate in or complete the classroom-based field experience for the spring semester. Course instructors will determine what, if any, online coursework will take the place of these experiences.”

The Woodlands senior Karley Shafer was a teaching intern in a seventh grade science classroom in Midway Independent School District. She said that the transition to online instruction was not “too much of a struggle” for her particular situation.

“The classroom I was teaching in, luckily, was a partial flipped classroom anyways,” Shafer said. “So what we did whenever it went to online teaching was we just uploaded those lectures onto their [iPads] because they have iPads as a one to one technology campus.”

Though she is no longer required to do in-class work because of the nature of her teaching internship, Shafer said she already had some lessons planned for her students, which helped make the transition to online teaching easier for her students.

However, abruptly having to leave the classroom has been tough for some Baylor education majors.

Englewood, Colo. senior Caroline Reid, who was teaching in a fourth-grade classroom also in Midway ISD, said she has still been in contact with her mentor teacher, but she did not get the opportunity to tell her students goodbye in person.

“It was so sad,” Reid said. “I had to send a goodbye video to them through [Flipgrid, an education software program], so it’s nice that we do have this technology.”