They Know The Pain of Online Learning. Here’s What Teachers, Parents and Students Did About It

ByPaloma Esquivel, Julia Barajas, Laura Newberry
Alfredo Crossman-Chávez Jr., a physical education teacher and athletic director at KIPP Corazón Academy

Nearly nine months and counting — that’s how long more than 1 million L.A. County students have been out of school. It’s only a guess when campuses will reopen amid the alarming surge in coronavirus cases. But talk to educators, parents and students and they invariably know someone who has made a difference. Someone who identified a pain point with distance learning, attempted to fix it and moved schooling forward during this unprecedented disruption to education.

They are brothers, worried mothers, creative teachers and college professors inventing new ways to teach familiar lessons. They are community builders who motivate students isolated behind computer screens.

These are some of their stories.

This PE teacher’s assignments have nothing to do with sit-ups

Alfredo Crossman-Chávez Jr. is a problem solver — and this physical education teacher and athletic director at KIPP Corazón Academy has plenty of challenges that have nothing to do with sit-ups.

How does he teach hand-eye coordination when his kids don’t have the right equipment at home? Crunch paper into balls. How does he deal with bad internet connections when so much of their exercise needs to take place outside twice a week? Record four sessions, doubling students’ chances to log on.

Crossman-Chávez finds ways to meet students where they want to be — and it’s not on Zoom.

He and a colleague at the South Gate school make strategic use of social media. There’s the “KCA Upper School P.E.” YouTube channel with yoga and high-intensity exercises. He launched the “kippcorazon_athletics” Instagram page, where he livestreams teacher vs. student athletic challenges that sometimes culminate with him drenched in ice water.

Determined to launch a cross-country team, he used Zoom, Google Classroom and the Nike Run Club App to virtually train and keep track of the runners’ progress.

Read the full article here.

Photo credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times