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McFarland teacher talks about staying connected and building unity with students

Posted at 12:04 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-22 13:34:38-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — As schools close across the nation many teachers are going from working in their homerooms to their living rooms.

Lauren Cella, a tenth-grade world history teacher at McFarland High School, has been going digital and trying to create a sense of normalcy through all the noise.

"I miss my kids. We didn’t get to say bye, that was the hardest part," said Cella.

She said staying connected with her students is important so they feel a sense of unity during times like this.

"As the situation got more serious most of them didn’t want to leave, most of them were sad. They were saying things like, "What are we going to do? My parents have to work," said Cella.

Cella said she's continuously building her relationship with students. So, even though they may not be at school they still feel like they have a support system outside of the classroom.

Recently she began working remotely and said it was an adjustment but her school and community have been coming together. McFarland Unified School District has set up a Facebook page with posts in English and Spanish to keep parents and students informed.

During the transitioning process Cella said keeping a sense of routine is important for students. She is now posting her lectures on YouTube so she can speak to her students directly.

Cella said one of the most important things is she doesn’t want parents to be overwhelmed, and that it’s okay parents might not understand AP coursework or world history.

She also said that hard times can be a turning point where students could become inspired.

"This might be a great opportunity for kids to practice their 21st century skills. Maybe they’ll be inspired or they’ll feel motivated to code or make videos," said Cella.

Cella said that right now all parents, teachers and students can do is take things day by day.