Columbia College Affinity Magazine: Summer 2020

Page 27

Educators transition to virtual learning

Cassidy Urie ’17, a 6th grade math teacher in Columbia, Missouri, kept her students engaged in this new environment. She mailed handwritten notes of encouragement and was delighted to receive messages in return. Zoom meetings quickly became virtual classrooms, as her students logged in to see their peers, share stories and ask questions. Of course, many pets and siblings made appearances on these Zoom calls, which she says was an added treat.

When the school district announced its closure, Mike Johnson ’19 was asked to oversee food service to students in need. Breakfast and lunch was provided to the students and families for any day school would have normally been in session.

“The hardest part for me personally was not seeing my kids again,” says Urie, who earned a Master of Education degree from Columbia College in 2017 and has taught in Columbia Public Schools for eight years. “I miss their laughs, their jokes and their silliness. I miss them asking the most random questions during my lesson and seeing the light bulb go off when they understand a concept.”

“It’s been a great service our district has provided for our community, with great support from our school board, superintendent and entire staff,” says Johnson, who completed his Master of Education at Columbia College in 2019.

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By mid-April, the district was providing more than 3,000 meals to about 300 children per week. –CP

Summer 2020

Johnson is the assistant for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment and director of Transportation for Southern Boone County R-1 Schools in Missouri.