Where You're At: Teaching From Home | KBIA

Where You're At: Teaching From Home

May 4, 2020

We at KBIA have found strength in our community during the COVID-19 crisis. In our series “Where You’re At,” we’re calling our neighbors to see how they’re coping during the pandemic. 

If you want to share your story, email KBIA at news@kbia.org. 

Here’s Alec Stutson’s coversation with Fairview Elementary School music teacher Sara Dexheimer in Columbia:

Can you tell me a little about what Fairview and teachers at Fairview have been doing to connect with their students remotely?

Sure, well, you know, Fairview is following the lead of Columbia Public Schools. And so there’s a lot of ways that we have been finding ways to connect with kids. A lot of that has come through virtual meetings such as through zoom. And then I've also been making a ton of videos and posting them on platforms like Facebook and Twitter and emailing them out to all of our families.

So when you’ve been making these videos for your students, have you been getting your family involved at all? What has the process of making those looked like for you?

One of the cool things that Fairview is doing is we are videotaping morning announcements every single day. I'm kind of lucky because my family -- they're all pretty outgoing and they all enjoy doing things like that. We embrace it and it’s true family bonding time. When we made our morning announcement video, it was like a full on family meeting to decide what we were going to do and how we were going to do it. And then even when it came down to editing the video, both of my girls were sitting beside us watching and throwing their input in. It was on a rainy day. So we turned our sprinklers on and danced in the rain and played and I think the kids had a good time with that.

So you mentioned earlier your two daughters are living with you, what has home education looked like for you with them?

Well, I tell you at the beginning we were really good about making sure that we were doing the packets that were sent home. We were on Schoology. We did a really good job. We have slacked on that quite a bit the past couple weeks, but we've replaced it with other things. So we've been cooking a ton which has not just been me and my husband - my girls have been down cooking with us. My girls have learned how to do laundry which is not something they knew before this. We have gone outside and gone on hikes a ton. We've flown kites. We actually had a nest of baby birds outside in one of our plants, so the girls actually watched them grow big enough that they finally flew away. So no, we've not been doing true schoolwork, but we've been finding lots of ways to still enrich and learn from what's around us versus through paper.

I know your parents are also living with you, how has having them in the house with you affected your family dynamic, and how have you been interacting with them?

So my dad has a really high risk of contracting the corona virus. So he and my mom both have been completely quarantined in our basement. I think we counted and they’re going on day 45 of quarantine. So, yeah, they really have not had much access to anything outside of the home. But at the same time they would say that they're super lucky, because they have us here. So they do have interaction with both of us with both of my girls. So yeah, they're not able to get out and go do anything but they definitely have been participating in some of our family activities.

What about you personally? Has being in lockdown led to any new  hobbies? How have you been spending whatever personal time you have?

I have found myself playing the piano a lot more than what I normally do. I'm a piano player, but with the busyness of life, you really don't get to sit down and just play for fun.

What’s your favorite song to play on the piano right now?

I would say probably Für Elise just because it's so well known that I could sit down and play just the first couple measures and all the kids or anybody listening immediately knows what it is.