A local university is creating a classroom of sorts for teachers to navigate COVID-19. The University of South Dakota will host a webinar next week. Organizers say it will not only help educators as they return to school, but it’s part of USD’s overall mission.
Classrooms are filled with history books of how we got through the past. But, when dealing with an unprecedented present, how do you know how prepare for the future?
“There’s a big question mark on what to expect,” Amy Schweinle, interim dean of the School of Education, said.
To help educators work through the COVID-19 pandemic, USD is offering the “A Changed Landscape in K-12 Education” webinar. Educational experts will answer questions about topics like social distancing, COVID safety, using technology, and the mental health for both students and teachers.
“I think they’re both excited about seeing their students again as they always are at the beginning of the year, but they’re fearful, too. They’re entering an unknown year,” Schweinle said.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty as to how one moves forward. So, getting a variety of expert opinions helps to make, in my opinion and in our opinion at USD, the best decision you can,” Scott Pohlson, vice president of enrollment, marketing, and university relations, said.
This is the latest edition in a series of webinars from USD in recent months. Pohlson says USD sees it as a duty to not only educate the students enrolled here, but the community at large.
“Our motto, our tagline is ‘We are South Dakota.’ So, we’re trying to take our expertise and provide it to our state,” Pohlson said.
It may not answer every question about going back to school right now, but Schweinle hopes it gives everyone a little more guidance to get through it safely and knowledgably.
“We can be here through this and for a long time in the future,” Schweinle said.
Registration is officially open for the webinar, which is set for August 20th. It’s free for educators in the state.