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As COVID surges, Oakland prepares teachers for more distance teaching

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OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — Distance learning is as hard for teachers as it is for students.

As COVID cases surge in California, teachers are preparing to remain at a distance for the long-haul.

This week the Oakland Unified School District handed out new laptops and larger monitors to its teachers to help educators continue distance teaching.

Teachers who spoke with KRON4 said the monitors will help them tremendously so that they can see students as they are learning.

Zoom and other distance learning platforms place each student into a small box.

The bigger the box is for each student, the better their teachers can help them, especially for students who are learning how to read.

First-grade teacher Kailey Olds said, “The visibility is really important. I am teaching reading. So being able to see them use their tongue, lips to pronounce words is really important. If they can’t see me, and I can’t see them, and we have that disconnect.”

Teachers said they miss being in a classroom with their students.

But more than anything, they miss hugs.

In the meantime, to keep everyone safe, they will continue distance teaching this winter. Alameda County is in the state’s COVID Purple Tier, the most restrictive tier.

As a best case scenario, some Oakland Unified School District students will be allowed to return in late January, according to the reopening plan.

But as long as Alameda County remains in the purple tier, schools are not allowed to reopen.

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