COVID-19 Impacts Education Assistant Training
Jodie Derksen has been working towards her Education Assistant Diploma through CDI College. With the COVID-19 pandemic, it has a direct impact on her studies.
“My learning has been impacted by us having to go online, it is way more difficult and not near the hands-on learning. We are learning more from textbooks and zoom classes then the five hours a day in class.
I am to graduate in the fall but I have classmates who are supposed to be starting their practicums in the middle of April. They all had in school placements already, some are now going to have to wait until the fall to get them, some are doing tutoring with kids in person and online to try to get their hours. They can only get hours if working directly with a curriculum.”
The Chipman resident is also worried about the impact online learning is having on students who require specialized instruction from educational assistants. “Going from six hours a day of class to a few hours a day, the children that have struggles or exceptionalities are the ones that I worry the most about…I think that with the cutbacks that they are expecting the parents to pick up the slack where that might not be a choice or an option. I am really hoping that all kids can keep on track and not fall behind with what is going on.
She also pointed out that children with Special Needs and autism in Lamont County and the Vegreville area don’t have the supports as there are in bigger centers which makes the situation even more challenging. What the future may hold definitely weighs on her mind, especially for her classmates who were planning on working in schools this year. She is trying to keep her options open and may try to find employment with Autism organizations as that is one of the areas she is specializing in.