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Special education teacher shares difficulties of virtual learning

"Doing group lessons is difficult because everyone has such different needs," Barbie Ross said.

WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. — Special education teachers are facing additional challenges while teaching virtually because each of their students has a unique set of abilities. 

Teachers and their students faced countless obstacles in the spring when they were forced to virtually learn because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Doing group lessons is difficult because everyone has such different needs. As a resource teacher, I’m teaching or assisting with world geography, or science, algebra, English. It wasn’t just one subject,” Barbie Ross said.

Ross has been a special education teacher for over 30 years, and currently teaches at a high school in Dorchester County. She, along with other educators, traveled to West Columbia this week to talk about obstacles teachers are facing during the pandemic.  

“A lot of what we do is hands-on. It’s more of a show you, than a tell you. And not having document camera, our school issued laptops do not have cameras on them, that became difficult. So, I was using FaceTime, text messages…”

She also had her students take pictures of their work to send to her and she’d send photos back of the corrected work. Ross is hopeful that virtual learning will get easier, but like most teachers, she misses her students.

“I miss the kids terribly, I really need that interaction. I’m hoping it’ll be easier, I’ve done a lot of professional development that was offered by my district over the summer.”

Ross says her district has purchased laptops for all their students and document cameras for teachers.

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