Dealing with COVID-19: An Interview with Janna Burns

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Dealing with COVID-19: An Interview with Janna Burns

janna burns

Janna Burns is a Math Teacher and a Music Teacher at Swallows Charter Academy in Pueblo West, Colorado. There are 17 students in her choir and she has 111 students total between her music classes and choir.

The most challenging thing for her was not being able to say goodbye to her students. She’s moving away this summer and was planning on telling her students the week before spring break but school was canceled abruptly.

To stay in communication with her students and their parents she is utilizing Google Classroom and Email. She’s able to share lessons and assignments with Google Classroom.

She’s also formed a virtual choir. She uploaded tracks to Google Classroom for her choir members to sing along with and record themselves. She’s then planning to put their audio recordings together into a virtual choir.

Her general music classes have been a bit harder to motivate. The students are responding to everything that’s being assigned with a “do we have to do this” attitude. Janna thinks they’re overwhelmed with this change in instruction.

To stay in communication with her colleagues she’s using Zoom meetings and emails. These Zoom meetings are helping her to stay motivated and are the highlight of her days because teachers are very social and need to be around other people. Hearing other people laugh and solving problems with other people helps her to be more motivated to do her job even better than before. The best Zoom meeting she’s been part of so far was a district-wide music teacher’s meeting where everyone shared what they were doing for online instruction.

We’d like to thank Janna for taking the time to share this information. Hopefully it can provide you with ideas for your program!
Over the upcoming weeks we’ll be sharing more stories about how music educators are dealing with the current situation regarding COVID-19.

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