NewsHillsborough County


Tampa Bay area teachers get creative during distance learning

Posted at 3:37 PM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 17:50:24-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- Teachers are stepping it up in self isolation.

Instructors all across the Tampa Bay area have been getting creative for their kids and we are taking notice.

Reaching students during the coronavirus outbreak cannot be easy. However, some teachers are making it look that way, like middle school science teacher Elizabeth Klauka - or now known as "Miss Liz the Science Wiz" on her YouTube channel.

Mrs. Klauka says in the classroom, she’s known for her nerdy and outgoing approach to teaching.

“I didn’t want to lose that aspect of my teaching and I didn’t want my kids to feel like they were missing out on having Miss Klauka still," she said.

After multiple system failures and crashes Klauka says she turned to YouTube, using her media savvy husband to create fun videos and post them online.

“I thought my kids are always on YouTube, they’re obsessed with YouTube and YouTube will never crash so I might as well throw some stuff up there,” she said.

While it adds 4-5 hours to her prep time, Klauka says she feels that if her students engage with the video and only see that for the day they are getting more than they would otherwise.

“For them it makes this content we are learning a little more fun,” Klauka said.

Art teachers too are getting extra creative (because lets be honest they’re already super creative) and thinking outside the paint sets to teach their students all about art.

"Our creativity is really, really taking off when it comes to us using stuff we already have and the kids already have at the house,” Chanique Davis, a Polk County teacher said.

Davis, well-known for her Black History Month doors, said distance learning is forcing her to learn too by using household items to create.

One challenge she’s had her students complete is sculptures made out of laundry.

While it sounds stinky, the outcomes are really quite impressive.

Davis is also teaching the color wheel to her elementary students using items from around the house.

Anything from a toy car to a cookie container were included in the piece.

“Red and yellow obviously makes orange and then red and blue makes purple so it goes in-between. It’s just a color wheel but it with objects we have at home,” Davis said.

ABC Action News asked the teachers what advice they had for other instructors who may be struggling to get through to their students.

Miss Klauka suggested to be creative, know your students and be highly organized.