Chris Mooney: Teaching high school and home school

Chris Mooney is a math teacher and student mentor at Corvallis High School. He has worked at CHS for 12 years as a member of the math department.

Jada Krening, News Correspondent

Updated April 14, 2020: This story has been updated to include an additional quote from Chris Mooney. 

This Q&A is the eighth in a 19-part series, “19 COVID-19 Stories,” updated on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, diving into the unique perspectives of the Corvallis community as they face COVID-19 and all its social and economic effects. 

Chris Mooney is a math teacher and student mentor at Corvallis High School. He has worked at CHS for 12 years as a member of the math department.

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As a high school teacher, how are you teaching your classes during the COVID-19 outbreak?

I currently post on my Google Classroom two assignments for the week, including both notes and videos. Students have the week to watch videos, read notes and complete their homework. This is then turned in via GC, where I can take a look at how students are doing.

 

As a high school teacher, has the transition to online coursework been difficult?

Yes and no. Fortunately, I’ve been running GC since last year. It’s great for those three students that actually look at it! I’ve been posting all of my homework and notes on my GC page for ages. At this point, it’s just a matter of getting videos from my Algebra 2 team and posting them. The hard part has been the uncertainty of what would be asked of us and grades/credit/seniors/etc. Our Admin team is doing a great job and has definitely helped clear up confusion as quickly as they can/could. 

 

How did you feel following the announcement that Oregon schools will be closed for the rest of the academic year?

Honestly really sad. I love my students and seeing them at school. Kids are awesome in so many ways and I miss working with them. I also have five of my own children, which made me panic a bit. Such a long time and so many different levels to work with. I’m doing homeschool for a 2nd grader, 4th grader, 7th grade and freshman—full yikes.

 

What has been the biggest challenge, or most difficult aspect of the COVID-19 outbreak for you, both as an individual and as a teacher?

Early on it was just getting toilet paper. Honestly though, just navigating life around a home with seven people. It can get a bit crazy at times and really doesn’t make for a very work conducive environment. 

 

What has been the most uplifting part of the outbreak for you?

I’ve been able to spend a good amount of time with my family and that’s been fun. I’m finally making it through a book I’ve been reading for a year. I now have a goal to lose weight cause COVID-19 and Easter candy ruined me—thanks bunny. 

 

Anything else you’d like to add?

Teachers love teaching your kids. We care and really want the best for them. Also, to every parent that probably said in a math class to their teacher, “when am I ever going to use this in real life?”—your time has come.

Everyone’s situation is different and unique during this time. Some students have all the access they could ever need, while others simply fall at the other end of the access spectrum. Many of our students have taken up helping their family make ends meet and are working significant daytime hours. I think as educators we need to keep life in perspective and realize that this is an incredibly short amount of time in the growth of a person. I really just want to err on the side of the student and support them along the way as best I can.