As a creative teacher, Cathy Cluck, 26, considered trips to historical places to be a better source of learning for her students. Instead of the stodgy learning process, it seems more interesting when someone brings life to the subject in an unprecedented way.
Since the deracination caused due to the pandemic is now under control, we’re thinking about other walks of life. Most importantly, the schools have been very much affected by the shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With this new normal, the concept of remote learning seems to be the only option left here. Teachers have a new task of finding ways to properly engage a virtual classroom and this may continue in the foreseeable future as well.
Being an Advanced Placement U.S. history and European history teacher at Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, Cathy Cluck contemplated another way of replacing the usual curriculum with what she calls the Great American History Road Trip. Not only did she conduct classes right from the famous spots, but she also posted several pictures on Twitter.
Over the course of the next 15 days, she kept visiting several historic sites across the US and made sure each of the remote classes brought the same fun as always. Cluck said: “This is something I’d never be able to do in a normal school year. I was just trying to figure out, how can I make this school year interesting and fun for kids? I mean, I don’t know how to do [remote learning]. I wasn’t trained to be an online teacher … So I figured, what if I teach history from the places where it happened? Maybe that would at least make them want to log in to find out where their teacher is every day.”
Meanwhile, she also kept everyone updated through her Twitter and Instagram accounts as well as her YouTube channel. Besides, she had to use her savings for all the trips. Also, Cathy carried equipment to record everything when she was visiting the historical places. The stops also included Tennessee; the fields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis; Jamestown, Virginia.
— Cathy Cluck (@cathycluck) August 29, 2020
Although it looks so fun while peregrinating from one stop to the other, it came up with more of the challenges due to the COVID-19 restrictions. She had to get busy with her recording session even at the coffee shops, parking lots, etc. However, it not only kept the students engaged, but she also recognized her passion for teaching in such situations.
She was always sanguine while going back to school every year in July. But since the pandemic had taken away the opportunity to interact with students and seniors, she replaced the dull and uninspiring sessions with one of the best alternatives in her entire teaching career. Altogether, she visited 11 historical stops, thereby covering 3,810 miles around the country. Also, Cathy’s school has started the in-person classes from Sept 8 at one-fourth of the maximum strength.