GA gets virtual help from Illinois to fight teacher shortage

Georgia gets virtual help from Illinois to fight teacher shortage

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Georgia, like many other states in the nation, is in the midst of a teacher shortage. School districts have had to think outside the box to fill the need.

A teacher who lives in Illinois but teaches virtually in Albany talked to WALB News 10′s Gabrielle Ware about her experience.

“So it’s kind of weird that I don’t see my students, that I’ve never met one of my students,” said Elevate K-12 Instructor, Candace Bui-Walston.

Her students can see her, but she can’t see them on the screen. Bui-Walston said she tries to find other ways to connect, like introducing them to new things.

Instructor Candace Bui-Walston lives in Illinois and is teaching in Albany, GA.
Instructor Candace Bui-Walston lives in Illinois and is teaching in Albany, GA. (Source: WALB)

“So I have a window right here. In Georgia, you guys don’t see a lot of snow, in Chicago, we see a lot of snow. Being a good teacher isn’t just about teaching them the content but inspiring them and sharing with them different life experiences,” she said while motioning around her room.

The Dougherty County School System said they use Elevate K-12 to provide high-quality instruction when there is no one available on staff. It can provide more stability than a substitute teacher.

“Once we take on a school we take on for the whole year. So I started with 6th graders in August. I don’t finish until May. We stay for the entire school year,” she said.

Bui-Walston is a former in-person high school teacher and worked as an assistant principal for Chicago Public High School. She said she loves having the opportunity to teach kids from across the nation.

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