Marnie, Saginaw County

Storyteller: Brayden Paris

Marnie is 48 years of age and lives in Freeland with her family. Her position is Special Ed Director of Freeland Community Schools. Her job deals primarily with deaf and learning disorders, people who were strongly impacted by COVID-19. 

Marnie initially heard of the virus in the media, sometime around February to early March. After the virus made landfall in Michigan and the Stay At Home Order followed soon after, there was a drastic change in Marnie’s job. 

The learning curve for students and teachers alike was hugely impacted with a massive change in education occurring in just a few short weeks. These changes started occurring in March and continued. Approximately ninety percent of parents participated in necessary Zoom sessions. However, there was a loss of personal interaction as well as a loss of the ability to read lips due to masks. This made Marnie’s job that much harder. 

Many of the kids used to rely purely on reading lips. Virtual is difficult due to the lack of closed captioning, separate videos. Sometimes there isn’t great attendance for some kids, making it hard to get the much needed results. One lesson Marnie mentioned relates to the the way we do education. She learned how there really is a need for a balance and a blend of processes in education.

During the pandemic, Marnie’s opinion has been critical towards teaching and getting the results she believes are needed for the people with deaf and learning disorders. She believes that everyone deserves the same education, no matter what disadvantages they have. She tries to put practices into use that she believes will get the results needed.

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