May 25, 2021

early morning zoom seminary

Port Angeles
Submitted By:
Jennifer Bringhurst
Location: Port Angeles, Washington

Affiliated Tradition:
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Story Date: 3/13/20 – 6/21

In March 2020, I was teaching early morning seminary at our church. When the stay at home order came, we canceled seminary. A few weeks later my co-teacher and I were told to teach seminary via zoom one day a week and have the students do online lessons for the other four days each week. Attendance dropped significantly. Many of the students never made the switch and just stopped coming altogether. One students who had 100% attendance before the pandemic, began coming to the zoom lessons but he hated the online lessons so much he only got a few of them done and now over a year later is still working on making up those attendance days that he missed. It was a struggle using a new program that I had never used before and with an unstable connection. I would often go to the church to teach seminary because there was a better connection there, but many of my students had unstable connections at their homes also. In the fall we were told to teach over zoom one day a week again and have the students do online lessons via canvas. Since online lessons had failed so miserably the year before, I asked if we could do all zoom. We were told to do zoom four days a week and canvas one day. We hoped that it would be temporary and kept waiting for the day we would be able to meet in person, but now almost at the end of the school year, we are still doing zoom and canvas. An entire school year of zoom seminary! We improved our internet connection with a new modem at home, but we have continued to have technological challenges all year long.

Port Angeles

Recently, I was using breakout rooms on zoom and meant to close the breakout rooms but accidentally ended the whole meeting! Zoom has presented so many challenges, and online lessons so many more challenges! I have learned so many lessons though as a result of these challenges. First, trust God. I love my Heavenly Father so much and know without a doubt that He helped me and my students get through this year! He has been our support and our strength, our rock and our foundation through it all. He loves us and has never left us. He has always been here for us. I know when I ask for His help, He will answer. He always does. I have also learned to trust and follow the guidance of the Holy Ghost. He is always there for me, giving me the words to say and helping me plan my lessons. I’m so grateful for the gospel! This has been such a learning, growing experience. I’m grateful for covid-19 and the lessons I have learned as a result!