Learning loss concerns heighten as students take break from class

Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 9:55 PM CST
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Empty classrooms, no teachers and a substitute shortage are plaguing school districts in Central Texas, resulting in learning loss.

COVID cases continue to climb, as well. That means some students and their teachers may be out for extended periods of time.

“As this continues on, I just feel like we will be seeing some of the effects of this for years,” said Elizabeth Casey, Department Chair of Curriculum and Instruction at Texas A&M Central Texas University.

Experts in education, like Casey, are worried about the classroom.

That is because not only is that where students learn to read and write, it is also where younger ones pick up social and emotional skills.

“Last year we learned a lot and this year here we are again, in an academic year, trying to learn how best to meet the needs of students,” said Casey.

And with teachers out, local school districts are also seeing issues with finding substitutes.

“So every day of the week, for maybe two weeks straight, a new face in the classroom,” said Casey. “So there’s a disconnect and some lost learning.”

That loss was also an issue during normal periods, she said, speaking from experience as both a teacher and sub.

“And I’m also reading another teacher’s lesson plans,” said Casey. “No matter how well those were prepared, it’s different.”

And with a seemingly unrelenting virus, that “different” remains concerning.

Just heightened stress levels,” said Casey. “Every day not knowing is my teacher going to be there? Is my friend going to be there?”

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