Teachers across Montana are working to teach students over the Internet instead of in the classroom. Elder Grove teachers will begin teaching students online Tuesday, March 23.

Second Grade Teacher at Elder Grove Elementary Emily Kipling said there has been a lot of collaboration among teachers. She also said there are a lot of online resources available for schools to use. 

Kipling said some aspects of switching from a classroom to online learning are challenging.

She said, "It's really tough because 7-8 hours a day with students, I mean, we do a lot. There's a lot of things that go on through the day and it's not just academic things. There's a lot of social parts to that. The hardest part is trying to figure out how to connect with our students via computer or tablet."

Elder Grove Middle School Math Teacher Jodi Rookhuizen said, "This is new to all of us. And, we have to give each other grace. I would encourage parents to have their kiddos or themselves reach out to their teachers. That's what we're here for. We want to help. And, we don't want to put any undo stress on the family or the household."

Rookhuizen said they have been in contact with every single family in the district. Students who need a device or who don't have access to Internet in their home will be picking up packets and devices on Wednesday, March 25.

Elder Grove held a parade on March 23, which Kipling said lasted almost four hours. Kipling said it was worth it to see the students and their families, and bring the community together.

Kisling said, "My number one emotion I'm feeling is excitement. I'm so excited to connect with my kids on a day to day basis. We've got some neat tools in place to hopefully have some screen time with each other where I'll get to see the kids and they'll get to see each other."

For parents and students looking for additional educational material, Rookhuizen said there is a website with a lot of material. She said to go to your school and your teachers first though to avoid being overwhelmed.

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