Teaching through coronavirus: SF teacher shows us what it's really like instructing from home

Lyanne Melendez Image
Thursday, April 16, 2020
Teaching through coronavirus: SF teacher shows us what it's really like instructing from home
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Today we visited one San Francisco teacher at her home during "class," to see what it's really like being a teacher during the coronavirus pandemic and distance learning. Along with her kindergartners, she's juggling caring for her own baby and 11-year-old daughter.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's not clear if students will be back in school in the fall. If they are, the governor has indicated it will be a different classroom, with new protocols.

Today ABC7 News visited one San Francisco teacher at her home at her home on the Peninsula to see what she thinks and find out how teaching online has been for her.

RELATED: When will California schools reopen? Gov. Newsom has some ideas

We were greeted by a few rescue dogs and by Rebecca, the pig.

Marisa Martinez teaches at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy in San Francisco.

"Thank you for coming,"she told us.

We then followed her into her bedroom which also acts as a classroom.

"Hi boys and girls, it's Ms. Martinez. How are you?" She greeted the kids while her 11- year-old daughter, Xavia, recorded today's lesson on a cell phone while baby Estrella sat on mom's lap. The lessons are posted on her YouTube channel. She also holds Zoom chats with her kindergarteners.

RELATED: Some teachers struggling with technology to provide distance learning for their students

Like hundreds of teachers in that school district, she's been communicating with her students on the internet.

"I just realized there's technology out there. It's really crazy," she explained.

The classroom chicken named Kevin, and Leroy the tortoise came with her once schools were shut down.

"Everyone say hi to Mr. Narwhal. Mr. Narwhal are you going to say hi to everyone. Alright kids, nice to see you. 'Hope you read about my cousin Big Blue,'" Martinez said as she held a puppet in her right hand.

Today's lesson is, of course, about whales. She also expects students to do homework.

RELATED: 3rd-grade teacher in Brooklyn is first New York City teacher to die of COVID-19

"I want you to give me two or three sentences, facts, about the big blue whale," she told her students.

When she was done, ABC7 News reporter Lyanne Melendez asked her how she was holding up.

"For you it's like a double whammy because you are trying to reach your students and at the same time take care of your kids here. You must be exhausted?"

"I am, it's a fine line of insanity. Let me tell you that. I don't pay my baby sitter during the day enough money I realize that now," she added as she laughed.

RELATED: Student Spotlight 2020: Honoring high school, college seniors

She worries about those students who are still without laptops or internet connection.

"I am really worried about the kids that are in poverty, that don't have when the other kids have."

With regard to Governor Newsom's predictions of what schools might look like going forward, Martinez agreed things will have to change.

"It's something that has to be re-looked and how we structure our play and how we structure out bathrooms," she expressed.

For now she's only focused on teaching through a pandemic, ending her lesson with words of encouragement for her students.

"It was really nice to see you, remember I love you and I miss you and I want you to be safe (KISS) and I will see you next time."

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