Home Economics Class Approach to Hands-on Activities From Home Through Distance Learning


Cake made by Ashley Tjaarda, made with only cake mix and a can of soda

Alina Garcia, Contributor

Home Economics is a very popular class offered at Tracy High School, many take the class because of the abundance of hands-on activities and assignments conducted: cooking, sewing, drawing, etc. However, due to distance learning, many of these activities that students look forward to for this class have been adjusted to fit new strategies in teaching.

Debbie Johnson, the Home Ec teacher at Tracy High, looks forward to interacting with so many students and teaching her skills and relaying her vital knowledge every year. However, distance learning has forced her to alter her method of teaching and has formed teaching barriers she had to break through. Johnson said, “It has taken some time to adjust to doing everything online. I have had to learn a lot of new technology in order for Microsoft Teams to work. Distance learning has required that all of my assignments be digital so that students can complete the assignments.”

Johnson has had to make some specific adjustments regarding her class as a whole which has been a large shift in what content she is able to include in her lessons. She claimed, “The curriculum for Home Ec has required some changes due to distance learning: adjustments to the amount of topics that are discussed and covered, and overall changes to how the class is structured. Since the second semester has started, I am able to cover more of the curriculum. I have tried to make distance learning more interesting and engaging.”

Not only did distance learning effect Johnson’s method of teaching, but if took some of the joys that came with doing her job, one being student interaction. Johnson stated, “Teaching every day on Teams without students having on their cameras and having them respond is difficult. I miss the face to face conversations with students, and having them in my classroom.”

Even with the struggles of distance learning, students have still been able to have fun and success in Johnson’s class. One of the favorite units in Johnson’s Home Ec class is cooking, Johnson has always supplied really fun recipes for students to showcase their culinary skills. When speaking about the cooking unit, Johnson said, “The students are assigned a cooking assignment to cook at home, they submit pictures of the item they make. overall, students have enjoyed cooking at home. Some of the items they have been assigned to make are as follows: twice baked potatoes, two ingredient cake, pancakes, biscuits, and cookies.

Johnson has been able to navigate through the obstacles of distance learning very effectively. Although there have been alterations to her curriculum that she has taught for years, she persevered and was able to teach her lessons with the most effectiveness possible, always maintaining a positive attitude for her students.