'As Told To' Stories
Written for Prof. Lori Johnston’s Feature Writing course, these “as told to” stories were created by a person’s spoken remarks recorded and then edited for publication. Comments trimmed for length and clarity.
 Why It’s Newsworthy: With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new guidelines to reopen schools, this piece is timely because it allows us to look at how at-home learning affects students. Turner and her students are conflicted by pandemic learning, as they many are stuck in bad home situations, and others have difficulties connecting online.  

 

After her long Thursday afternoon teaching meeting, Gaines Elementary School student teacher, Emily Turner, 21, sat down at her computer to talk to Autumn Sanford about the hardships her third-graders faced while adapting to Zoom learning. 

 

During that time we had a lot of students who had really rough home lives, and I just immediately got really upset for them because, like, school was their safe space. 

Most of those students didn’t show up on Zoom, so we didn’t get to see them, and since the teacher had to like, adjust so quickly to online learning, she didn’t really have a good way to, I guess, make sure that they were participating or anything, so a lot of those kids I didn’t ever get to see again. I still think about them, and I still worry about them. 

You know, we don’t see as much of their, like, personality, and what they’re going through via Zoom as we would in person. They’re still excited to learn and see people and interact with people, but I would assume that it’s like a lot of them not seeing their friends and not actually, like, having the interpersonal connection like they’re used to. 

I don’t know what to do with myself half the time when I’m in Zoom. I feel so out of place sometimes. I kind of knew my place in the in-person classroom that I was in, but like, online, I never feel like I get there exactly. 

Everyone is trying the best that they can, like, whether it’s teachers, whether it’s parents, whether it’s students. Everyone is trying the best they can, and everyone deserves grace during this time, because it’s just hard for everybody, and like, I think if everyone understood that, then they would be, like, a lot less frustrated because everyone’s trying. It’s just hard.

 

Autumn Sanford is a senior majoring in journalism and minoring in criminal justice in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. 

 

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