JES Teacher Overcomes Tech Gap to Connect with Students

Marion County Folks Tell the Jimp About Dealing with Unusual Times

Coping - FuglerBy BOB PALMER
Jimplecute News Editor

JEFFERSON – When COVID-19 closed Jefferson ISD campuses in March, a JES first grade teacher found she had to ramp up her computer skills.

“I am not tech savvy,” Ann Fugler explained, “but I figured it out.”

The use of internet links and paper packets allow Jefferson teachers to still instruct their students.

“We are staying connected,” Fugler said. “We created a packet to go home. Parents pick up the packets and the students work on them at home.”

Some students choose to use the Acellus instruction software for reading, math and social studies. 

“I check on them twice a week by telephone or text messages,” Fugler said..

The communication is two-way.

“I hear from my 17 students,” she related. “They message me on facebook. I reply as best I can.”

Some parents have chosen to do both. Their child is doing a computer program and picking up the physical packets.

“I think [students] were really excited at first,” Fugler said. “One mother said her son was really excited doing his work, but it gets a little boring.”

Some parents report their child missing his buddies. 

Mastercraft Coping Sponsorship April 2020 Sample2The Acellus program allows teachers to interact with students.

“I can get on there and watch their progress,” Fugler said. “I see what units they are working on. I can click on and find out what questions they missed.”

Fugler uses the software to share positive messages with her students..

“I keep encouraging them to keep going,” she said.

Parents will tell their students, “Mrs. Fugler can see what you are doing.”

Fugler believes her students will be ready for the next grade despite the interruption in school.

“We’ve had them for three-fourths of a year,” she said. “They have a strong enough background. Although we did have more skills to teach them, we have given them strong building blocks for the future.”

Like many elementary school teachers, Fugler thinks a lot of her class.

“I think my class has smart children,” she said. “I am really proud of them.” 

Fugler reports her family is surviving the shelter at home order.

They had prepared with adequate supplies and she rarely leaves the house, although her husband and children go to work.

“I have a son who works at a hospital in Dallas,” she said. “I do worry about him. His wife works with American Airlines.”

One difficulty, Fugler recalled, was when her daughter moved from Longview back to Marshall and needed wifi for her new place.

In order to maintain proper social distance, the installer stood in the yard giving instructions while her daughter did the actual work.

One bright spot for her was getting to telephone her 92-year-old mother who had been quarantined for two weeks in Katy after breaking her pelvis.

It was Fugler’s sister, another JES first grade teacher, Judy Bender, who got her interested in teaching in Jefferson.

“Jefferson happened to have a position open and I applied,” Fugler said. “Oh, yes. I love teaching here. We’ve got a really great group of teachers.”

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