Flexibility works for local teacher working remotely

Posted at 9:35 PM, May 04, 2020

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — As teachers across the country go to great lengths to teach their students remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, a local teacher is operating under abnormal school hours -- and it's working for her.

“My journalism teacher is very motivated and still putting lessons out there," Calallen High School senior Olivia Colburn said. "She’s a good teacher.”

She's talking about Calallen High School journalism teacher Jeannette Krizak. Her school day starts around noon, and ideally wraps up around 8 p.m. But often, she's working later than that.

“There have been some nights where I’m up until midnight -- where I’m working like 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.," Krizak said. "But it’s not everyday, luckily. And in talking to my colleagues, many of them are doing the same. They’re kind of working it around their family’s schedules."

Krizak employs a variety of methods to teach her students remotely: There are video meetings using the Zoom app; Google Classroom software makes the job a little easier; and then there are messages to and from students over the phone, and several other platforms.

It can be a lot.

“(I tell myself) try not to respond every time you see that message come across -- which has been kind of hard for me, because I am a little obsessed about being there and communicating," Krizak said. "I do have to sometimes tell myself, ‘Hey! You’re finishing tonight at 10, not midnight.' ”

The later school day sits well with some teenagers who don't like waking up early, but it doesn't suit the schedules of those who take part in extracurricular activities. It's part of the reason Krizak -- a night owl herself -- doesn't expect the schedule to stick once the pandemic ends and parents get back to work.

“Unfortunately we’re going to have to keep doing the early thing to match up with the parents' schedules," Krizak said.

Regardless of the schedule, Colburn is thankful for all that her teacher is doing during these unprecedented times.

“I really enjoyed her class," Colburn said. "She taught me a lot.”