PERTH, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Every morning Jill Becker and Amy Wurz fire up their laptops to start a long day of online teaching. They each take on all the virtual 1st grade and Pre-K students at Broadalbin-Perth Elementary School.

“I’ve done extra training, so it just kind of made sense for me to be the one to volunteer to do it,” explains Becker in her 1st grade virtual classroom.

“I’m not the most technological person, but I have a good understanding and I’m willing to learn,” laughs Wurz in her Pre-K class.

As the holiday breaks come closer, Wurz and Becker say they’re the ones who learned a lot about what does and doesn’t work for online teaching.

“We have reading groups that you normally do and it took a while to figure out how to do those. Doing them every day isn’t always some thing that we can do,” Becker explains to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton. “Giving them a new view, something different to look at so they’re not just looking at always the same thing, it’s something that I definitely will be changing up.”

“I try to keep the Google Meets short. I try to keep them around 10 minutes, so that way we keep their attention the whole time that they’re on there. I stagger them, so there’s four throughout the day,” Wurz explains of her process. “I give them assignments to kind of keep the schedule going, but it’s hard because ultimately it’s up to the parents to follow that. As a teacher, it’s hard for me to give away that control and not be able to be with the kids and interact with them.”

Both say it has been a challenging transition, but compared to the sudden cut of in Spring Trimester, they had much more time to prepare for Fall and think of ways to keep young kids engaged.

“I play silly songs, I dance on the side of the promethium board and sometimes they look at me like, I have no idea what you’re doing, and sometimes I have some that are dancing right along in their chairs too, which is fun,” says Becker. “I also don’t want them on the computer all the time, so I try to do some fun things that we do in person, some fun things that I post and they go into on their own, so I try to kind of balance the fun with the learning, which is pretty much what I think teaching is anyway.”

“I actually have a few students who have come back to in person, and I’m so happy to have them. I’m hoping to have a few more come back in a few months as well,” says Wurz of her now hybrid classroom.

Wurz also says compared to Spring, she finds parents opting in made the most difference.

“They understood choosing that model, there was going to be a lot more responsibility and a lot more structure,” she says.

Becker also let NEWS10 sit in on her “Fun Friday” activity, a word learn Jeopardy game. Her students say it was a lot of fun, and they found this kind of learning pretty easy.

“I picked a tricky word, and I got ‘was’,” explains Matix Dolly. “It was easy, because all I had to do was read the word.”

“Matix, why is is it a tricky word, do you know?” asked Becker during the lesson.

“Because the A is saying -uh,” Matix correctly replied.

The kids say they like learning online, like Sophia Hart who raised her hand to share her thoughts with NEWS10.

“I like it, because I don’t need to put on my backpack,” she said confidently.

However, they also add they can’t wait to get out of the house.

“Then you can learn in your classroom,” Matix says.

“I’m looking forward to going back, because it’s easier to get to talk without needing to unmute with your camera,” Sophia chimed in.

Their teachers say they live for the days when their virtual students get to come in, if only just to meet them.

“They come in every other Friday to pick up materials, so last week was Halloween and they were in their costumes, so it was fun asking who they’re supposed to be in the backseat, or ah you’re a scary monster!” laughs Becker. “Their personality is different in person, and so how they react to you and how you react to them, that face-to-face you can’t beat that.”

“I do things a little differently, I gave my parents the option to come in for an hour on Fridays to let the kids socialize and pick up materials. My in-person kids, like I’ll tell them in the morning, oh we have a few friends that are coming this afternoon to play! Then when they come into the room, they’re like, oh hi! They are excited to see them and that’s nice to see,” says Wurz.