Wildcat of the Week: Caroline Friday

FACS teacher at De Soto High School keeps up with students, her children and online school

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Caroline Friday and her children, Harper and Hudson Friday, work on virtual school at home on April 17.

Abby Knuth, Staff Reporter

Caroline Friday, family and consumer sciences teacher at De Soto High School, has been adjusting to online teaching while at home with her two young kids, Harper and Hudson Friday. In addition to teaching classes, she is currently working to get her master’s degree in education from Baker University.

“Teaching virtually with Harper and Hudson at home has been extremely stressful,” Friday said. “I sometimes stay up until two or three in the morning doing school work for my master’s, or making assignments for my students at DHS because it is a lot harder when the kids are awake during the day to stay focused.”

While working from home and managing her children has been challenging, Friday enjoys getting to spend more time with them.

“I am trying to stay positive for Harper because it is a huge adjustment for elementary students as well,” Friday said. “For them to not have that social aspect, and not be with their classmates or their teacher is stressful for them too.”

Friday has also been balancing getting her master’s degree during this quarantine. She has been learning many new things to benefit both her and her students. 

“I decided to get my master’s this year because I had the opportunity to teach Teaching as a Career and Teaching Internship for college credit for my students, as long as I was pursuing my master’s through Baker in education,” Friday said.

In order to transition to online learning, teachers at DHS were instructed to give assignments that were necessary and crucial for students to learn by the end of the year.

“I have been trying to pick the most important skills to teach about that are crucial for the future,” Friday said. “For Nutrition and Wellness, I made an assignment where my students had to cook something and also reorganize something in their kitchen.”

Friday has also been giving assignments that give them ownership and freedom when learning. 

“I am also coming up with choice boards for my classes which have different activities that students can do. They pick two activities to complete each week and fill in the box once they are finished,” Friday said. “I like choice boards because it gives students the flexibility to learn what is most important to them or what they would most likely put the most effort and creativity into.”

Students in the Teaching as a Career and Teaching Internship class have enjoyed the assignments that Friday has made. 

“She’s giving us assignments that will help us develop into better teachers, such as learning Kagan strategies and making late work policies,” senior Trent Mann said. “Some of the assignments are helping bring out my more creative side.”

Hands-on classes like Friday’s can be difficult to teach online, but through the COVID-19 outbreak, it has not only been a learning experience for students, but for teachers too.

“The teaching class is hard to teach online, but I feel like this is such a good opportunity for these students because this is something that has never happened before in our lifetime,” Friday said. “This is something that my students who want to be teachers can really learn from in case something like this ever happens when they have their own classrooms.”

To stay connected with her students throughout the pandemic, Friday made a group on Facebook called “Mrs. Friday’s Classroom.”

“I thought that if I were to make a group on Facebook that I could post especially cooking things, then it would help students and parents stay connected,” Friday said. “There are a lot of students that I see daily who don’t take my classes anymore, so they aren’t on my Canvas or in my Zoom conferences.”

Mann misses being taught face-to-face in the classroom by Friday. 

“I miss the positivity and the energy of Mrs. Friday’s classroom. She always made sure we were being productive,” Mann said. “She continues to work very hard to better us as potential teachers.”

Along with her family and consumer science courses, Friday is also in charge of the Prom Committee at DHS and can’t imagine how students are feeling right now.

“I feel for the students that are having to miss out [on events] like prom and graduation because those are very meaningful experiences,” Friday said. “I am hoping we can do something special for the seniors later.”

Friday wishes that she could be back in her classroom with her students and is staying connected with them.

“What is getting me through this is when I Zoom with students and have class meetings. I love being able to see and hear from them,” Friday said. “I love teaching and going to school and being there every day brought me a lot of joy.”