BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT) — School districts across central Alabama are continuing to shift back temporarily to remote learning after an influx of COVID-19 cases and lack of substitute teachers.

During the past two weeks, Bessemer Middle School has missed two days each week as a result of COVID increases and staff shortages.

Bessemer Middle School teacher Latonya Rogers said challenges continue to be felt, but the district is making the best of the situation. This includes working hard to ensure students stay engaged through virtual schooling options. Rogers added that for some students the lack of social interaction during remote learning is difficult.

“Kids understand. Like I said, they still have to be engaged and actively communicating with the teachers and the only way we have for that right now is through Zoom and Google Meets and I think it’s working,” Rogers said.

“Kids know how to get on, get their work and submit it. If they have a problem trying to do anything with their homework, or classwork, they know how to get in contact with their teacher,” said Naschica, a Bessemer parent.

Leslie Cobb, a parent in the Shelby County School District, said even as she works from home she’s still facing difficulties working with her children during remote learning. Cobb understands there being a lack of staff to effectively operate, but said she has concerns for her children and how they are faring academically due to the transitions. Cobb adds as a working parent it’s a struggle to keep them motivated and prefers them being in a more structured environment.

“I know some kids thrive on the online learning and are able to be self motivated. My kids are not, they need a teacher pushing them. They need a teacher to ask questions if they don’t understand something. They don’t take the initiative to find the answers or learn how to find the answers, they just give up,” said Cobb.

Although Cobb works from home, she emphasizes she is unable to do step-by-step instruction like her children would receive in the classroom, so it does make things more challenging.