Pandemic Changes Schedule for Special Needs Teacher

Specials+needs+teacher+Elyse+Morrow%2C+instructs+her+students+in+a+zoom+meeting%2C+from+the+comfort+of+her+home.

Photo Courtesy of Elyse Morrow

Specials needs teacher Elyse Morrow, instructs her students in a zoom meeting, from the comfort of her home.

Hannah White, Staff Writer

After 20 years of teaching across the district working as a teacher for deaf students, Special needs teacher Elyse Morrow has never seen anything like this before. 

Morrow worked for decades within the district in order to try to make an impact on these students’ lives.

“I decided to teach special education because ensuring that all students have the best possible opportunity to learn is extremely important to the quality of their lives. Special needs students need specialized instruction in order to meet their goals that general education students meet in general education with general instruction,” said Morrow.

For most students, the pandemic has negatively impacted their learning. For Morrow’s students, the pandemic and  the online environment is especially difficult for many disabled students.

“Special education students need hands on instructions in order to make progress on IEP goals.  Virtual instruction does not allow for this progress to be made effectively. Our special education teachers are working tirelessly and successfully to find new ways to deliver instruction to this population of students so that they can continue to make progress. They have already come so far”, said Morrow.

Special education students need hands on instructions in order to make progress on IEP goals.  Virtual instruction does not allow for this progress to be made effectively”

— Morrow

Like some adults, many of the students Morrow teaches have underlying health concerns making the pandemic and the return to in-person learning more dangerous than it would be for other students.

“At first with COVID it was dangerous for the students to be in classrooms because they sometimes have additional health problems. They are also more susceptible to illnesses,” said Morrow.

As schools reopen, it has been easier for her and other staff to teach and communicate with their students.

“Many of them are in classes, because virtual learning was just impossible. Hybrid has helped this by allowing students back to have the help they deserve. In addition, having the students in class allows us to use the materials and tools that support their learning. We use various modalities such as manipulatives. Even then we still have some students all online, because the virus just too dangerous for them,” said Morrow.

It may be months until the pandemic slow down, but it’s important we continue to do our part to stop the virus. Students with disabilities rely on in-person learning so by doing our part, we can ensure these students can get the education that they deserve.