Teacher shares her virtual learning routine


Photos provided by Tania Andrews

Tania Andrews reviews her lesson plans for the day before the start of school.

Taryn Morris, Reporter

Tania Andrews sits on a red lounger as Eeyore, the donkey from Winnie the Pooh, gazes over her shoulder, watching her from his perch on the back of the couch. Just within arms reach is her computer with the Teams window open. Camera on. The time is 8:30 a.m., and class has started. 

For the last six years, Ms. Andrews has taught Graphic Design and Principles of Arts/AV. 

Her day starts with an early workout at 5 a.m., after which she responds to colleagues asking her for help, double-checks daily lesson plans and wakes up her four school-aged children, who need to call in for their virtual school as well. By 8:30 a.m., when her first class of the day begins, she prepares herself for the challenges ahead. 

“When you’ve got the WiFi crashing constantly and your technology not wanting to load half the time,” Andrews said. “There are those moments and it’s like, I’m gonna pull my hair out.” 

That’s not to say this method of teaching doesn’t have its own benefits. Since Microsoft Teams offers a recording feature that allows teachers to film their live sessions so students can watch later, Andrews is relieved students can use the feature when falling behind. 

“I really loved the idea of recording every lesson,” Andrews said. “So that when students check out, miss something, or are at home because they are legitimately sick with something, they at least have that active live lesson.”

Dean of Instruction Debbie Campbell asked Andrews before the school year started to create videos to assist teachers with HUB features and uses. After consulting with other teachers, she created eight different how-to videos for various features of the HUB. It is not her first time teaching teachers, either. She taught teachers as a digital learning specialist for five years at Fort Bend ISD. 

“Because I taught back at Fort Bend, for me, it was like oh, I’m doing this again. Alright, cool,” Andrews said. “I heard some feedback that because of my quirks, it’s fun to watch my videos.”

Andrews said what helps her stay positive is to “just relax.” 

“You legitimately cannot control 90 percent of this stuff. You just can’t,” Andrews said. “You are fighting yourself trying to do it. If the whole HUB crashes for five hours, yes, it’s frustrating, but it’s going to be okay. Give yourself a great break. You don’t have to figure it out right away. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are so many opportunities to make yourself go nuts. Don’t let this be one of them.”