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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Teacher unafraid of challenges of virtual learning amid COVID-19 crisis

A first year Memphis teacher is taking on the challenges of virtual learning and facing them with optimism he wants to share.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — COVID-19 is steering a new course for teachers and students.

Virtual learning used to be a tool for graduate students hundreds if not thousands of miles away, but not anymore.

Virtual learning is also a new world for a new teacher to the classroom, but Cory Jones other life challenges have made him optimistic about the possibilities of how it will work.

"I've been through a lot of different changes in my life and I thing that one of the key things through this season is to just resiliency and flexibility throughout change," said Jones.

Like other teachers Jones is digging deep to meet the challenge of virtual learning COIVID-19 is presenting teachers.

He raised $1500 he used to buy cameras so his students can see him as he writes and to help students see and hear him clearly.

He says if they don't, they disengage from the learning process.

Jones didn't set out to become a teacher.

He studied psychology at Victory University, but the school's abrupt closing in 2014 derailed completion of his degree.

With no scholarship and now out of a job he went to work at the non-profit Youth Villages, where an injury forced him quit.

Then, in the middle of finishing up his teacher qualifications and right before the Coronavirus crisis his father died of cancer.

Tough times for Jones all the while thinking of his students.

"What I learned is that when there's adversity that's an opportunity in disguise." 

He wants teachers, students and parents to meet that adversity with optimism, so Jones offers tips to help students make the grade.

"Hold them accountable and teach them to do what is right when they are away because not all parents are going to be able to stay at home with their children."

Jones encourages parents to form stronger ties with teachers and, also has tips for teachers.

"I tell them to definitely approach this with growth mindset and with a mindset that 'hey, I'm a learner here also."