Live Mic: Honoring the Class of 2020: teaching online

May 22, 2020, 6:17 PM
start times high schools...
The principal of East High School is asking the community for help as they deal with a shortage of substitute teachers. (PHOTO: Kristin Murphy/The Deseret News via AP)
(PHOTO: Kristin Murphy/The Deseret News via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — Teaching online for the past couple of months has been challenging but the experience they gained during the coronavirus pandemic will be used by them when future obstacles arise, a Utah educator said. 

Brenda Kraack (pronounced Crock), an East High School math teacher and assistant softball coach, joins Lee Lonsberry on Live Mic to discuss the hurdles of teaching online and to offer advice to students and athletes.

“What’s been the biggest impact on teaching” during the crisis? Lee asked.

“Getting through that senioritis on their own. Senioritis plays a big role whether you’re in a pandemic or not. So trying to navigate that independent-learning motivation on your own I can imagine has been huge,” Kraack said.

sen·ior·i·tis /ˌsēnyəˈrīdəs/: (noun) a supposed affliction of students in their final year of high school or college, characterized by a decline in motivation or performance.

“How do you combat that senioritis?” Lee asked.

“Constant communication with them, constant checking in,” Kraack said, “but that’s part of the problem on the teachers’ end, too, because we can’t text them on their personal cellphone or things like that. So we will reach out to them, but then our hours are different.

“I don’t know if you’ve had many teenagers in your life. But when they’re free to run their own hours. Their hours are more like 1 p.m. to 3 a.m. Mine are not the same,” Kraack said.

Learn from experience

“What advice would you give to your own sons should they face this same situation?” Lee asked.

“To learn from what they’ve gone through this last couple of months,” she said. “For example, if you’re a high school senior, and you’re going on to college, how did online learning work for you?

“Many colleges and universities have online classes. Did that work for you or did it not work for you? Be cognizant of that when you’re registering for classes,” she advised. “Is in-person [learning] going to be better? Is online going to be better? That’s a huge learning advantage they got through this pandemic.”

Kraack also advised students to know who the essential workers were during the pandemic. If a second pandemic were to occur in their lifetimes, she said decide which one, essential or nonessential, you want to be if it does happen.

Challenges ahead

“What advice do you have for your athletes?” Lee asked.

“Just to remind them that they can do hard things. This was hard,” Kraack said. “It was hard for teachers, it was hard for students to find that motivation, but they are coming out on the other end. They are going to graduate. They are going to move forward.”

She said these students will find difficulty in the future, but they now know — having survived the worst of the pandemic — that they will persevere when they encounter those tough times that surely lie ahead.

Teaching remotely

“How has teaching been through all of this?” Lee asked.

“It’s hard. We got notice on a Friday afternoon at 4 o’clock that we’re not going to see students on that following Monday. Put your class online. It’s been difficult. Luckily, I’m technologically savvy. I’ve been able to work through it but not without its glitches.  

“We’re going to do whatever it takes to make sure our kids are still learning and are taken care of . . . all the needs that we would do if we saw them in person.” Kraack said.

Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.


Related articles:

West High School in Salt Lake City handing out laptops to students

Live Mic: High school senior navigates graduation, serious life challenges

Coronavirus drop out: Are online-only courses driving college students away?

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories


FILE - A doctor loads a dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at ...
Aimee Cobabe

Bill banning vaccine passports heading to Utah Senate

A bill to ban vaccine passports is heading out of the Utah House and into the Utah Senate. The bill is similar to a failed bill from 2022.
4 days ago
A bill on transgender healthcare — banning transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV and Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio

Utah Senate approves changes to transgender care bill, passes on to Gov. Cox

SB16 bans gender-confirming surgeries for minors and also places a moratorium on puberty blockers for minors.
7 days ago
Havasu Falls spills into the water pools below in Supai, Arizona, in October of 2016. Photo credit:...
Forrest Brown, CNN

Grand Canyon’s Havasu Falls to reopen to visitors after 3-year closure

 (CNN) — Havasu Falls, one of the most intriguing features of the Grand Canyon system, will be reopening to visitors after a three-year closure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. But it’s with a catch. The reopening is scheduled for February 1; however, access will be limited initially to a certain, small group. People whose previous […]
7 days ago
White carnations representing each of the 1,746 unborn babies that were aborted in Utah in 2022 are...
Allessandra Harris and Simone Seikaly

Speeches, silence, during Pro-Life Utah memorial at the Capitol

About 100 people including Utah lawmakers and religious leaders attended the memorial on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023.
8 days ago
 A mental health clinic will reopen on Thursday after a carbon monoxide leak sent at least 17 peop...
Michael Locklear

Carbon monoxide poisoning at central Utah clinic hospitalizes 17 people

The Central Utah Counseling Center in Ephraim was evacuated a week ago after a problem with an old furnace was discovered.
9 days ago
a row of guns are pictured...
Mark Jones

KSL at Night: How do we solve gun violence?

KSL at Night hosts Taylor Morgan and Maura Carabello speak with Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council about gun violence.
10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Live Mic: Honoring the Class of 2020: teaching online