CEC adapts to virtual learning challenges


Ash Foster/Rider Chronicle

Some classes at the CEC require students to be face-to-face learners.

Chad Johnson is like any other teacher, juggling with adjusting the equipment used in his class. 

Johnson works at both Rider High School and the Career and Education Center (CEC) where he teaches graphic design and audio/video production. He is having to use alternate software this year because only half of his students are face to face. 

“We are trying to adjust accordingly because they don’t have the same access at home that they would have here,” Johnson said. “Also with the cameras, they are going to have their phones to video stuff.” 

According to CEC Principal Synthia Kirby, 14 CEC courses and programs are required to have in-person attendance based on the Texas Education Agency’s requirements. Those include some nursing classes, culinary arts, automotive tech and cosmetology. 

“If a remote student wants to take one of the face-to-face only classes, they must physically show up to the CEC,” Kirby said. “If a virtual student does not want to show up to the CEC for the face-to-face only classes, they have to get their scheduled changes out of the face to face only class.”

When teaching both virtual and in-person students, it is almost like teachers are teaching two classes in one 47-minute class period. With all these challenges, Johnson hopes everyone is learning and gaining the same information.

What I’m trying to teach is more like a concept, as opposed to the actual software. My hope is that if I can teach them the concept, then they can use it,” Johnson said. “With the according adjustments for whatever service.”

The CEC’s safety procedures are very similar to the ones at Rider. Students wear masks, hand sanitizer are available and the tables get wiped down before/after class. The buses are also cleaned between each pick-up and drop-off. 

One change at the CEC is that they “now have up only and down only stairs,” Kirby said. 

Johnson, like most teachers across the country, hopes that everything will return to normal soon. 

“It would definitely be a lot easier if everybody is in person,” Johnson said. “Because it would definitely make our classes a lot smoother.”