When things started getting serious with social distancing, CCL teaching couples with onsite classes all of a sudden found their meeting places closed down. With close to 70 percent of our instruction already happening via online classes, thank goodness we were certainly a bit ahead of the curve when it comes to social distancing and remote learning!
But in mid-March when facilities were shutting their doors, we had nearly 400 student couples already booked into onsite classes through April. We had 48 hours to get the first set of teaching couples trained in online instruction in order to avoid any cancellation of classes. Not surprisingly (because we have terrific volunteers!), the impacted teachers jumped right in, learned some new skills, and all have been able to hold class as scheduled.
One of the first to switch to teaching online were TC Joe and Kathy Hack, of Charlotte, NC.
“We are in our mid-50s, and had not ventured into the virtual teaching option. Before last week we had never even heard of ‘Microsoft Teams,'” Kathy said. But they took part in a live webinar hosted by CCL Central to get familiar with the online platform, and practiced a little on their own before their first online class the next day.
“Once we started, it was not much different from our usual live format, Kathy said. “Our students stayed engaged, asked questions as they usually had in the live classes, and actually seemed quite at ease with the format. As a teaching couple, the anxiety we felt by learning the platform the day before the class was nothing compared to the excitement of being able to learn a new skill, complete the class over the computer with no delay to the couple in their marriage preparation, and meet this next generation in their comfort zone.”
We continue to be amazed at the dedication and generosity of our teachers as they have continued to serve their students despite the challenges.
“A crisis like the coronavirus pandemic can’t stop that need for truth,” said Patrick Smith, CCL’s associate director of membership development and engagement. “As members, donors, students, teachers, volunteers and staff, we have been blessed to see how God continues to reach out to us, even when it appears impossible.”