COVID Diary: ESC Region 11

(Image credit: ESC 11)

The Tech & Learning COVID Diary series follows educators and administrators throughout the year as they share stories about how their districts are handling teaching and learning during the pandemic. 

Teela Watson is Director Instructional Services Digital Learning for ESC Region 11 in Fort Worth, Texas, an education service agency serving 77 ISDs and 66 charter schools with 585,000 students and 70,000 educators. Classes in the districts that comprise ESC Region 11 range from fully virtual to fully in-person, with hybrid/blended learning as well. Canvas is one of the main platforms.

Biggest challenge

Helping teachers be comfortable enough with the technology to engage students with content. 

What are the advantages of teaching in this environment?

Personalized learning has been a goal for so many teachers, and this environment makes it more possible. 

How are teachers being supported?

Through the ESC we are providing training, one-on-one coaching, PLNs, and other technical assistance as needed.

How are you supporting your students?

Many districts are providing technical assistance with extended hours.

Are parents and families satisfied with this learning environment?

Many are satisfied, although others are seeing the social-emotional toll it is taking on their child.

How are you supporting your parents and families?

We are providing training and education pieces for parents.

Did anything unexpected happen (good or bad) during remote learning that can now be used as a teachable moment for others? 

Many teachers saw students who were reluctant to participate in a face-to-face environment absolutely flourish and participate fully in the remote/virtual environment.

Anything else you'd like to add about your successes and challenges during the pandemic?

It has been so rewarding to be shoved onto the front lines of education during the pandemic. We have asked for this opportunity for many years and were finally able to put our money where our mouth was and be able to support districts in instructionally meaningful ways!

If you would like to participate in the COVID Diary series, please complete this form. Email with any questions.