Valley online teacher says her Ukrainian students are still trying to get an education amid crisis

Apr 6, 2022, 4:45 AM | Updated: 11:04 am
BORODIANKA, UKRAINE - APRIL 05: A view of a destroyed residential building as a result of a shellfi...
BORODIANKA, UKRAINE - APRIL 05: A view of a destroyed residential building as a result of a shellfire on April 5, 2022 in Borodianka, Ukraine. The Russian retreat from Borodianka and other towns near Kyiv have revealed the extent of devastation from that country's failed attempt to seize the Ukrainian capital. The Ukrainian government expects a renewed battle in the east, after Russia largely withdrew its forces from around Kyiv. (Photo by Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images)
(Photo by Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Educators are trained to handle various situations that may arise, but one thing there is no playbook for is teaching kids in a war zone. That is the task an ASU Prep Digital teacher is facing with the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

“We’re trained to handle active shooters, we’re trained to evacuate everyone in a fire,” Samantha Parker told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “Nobody has trained us to deal with wartime.”

The online school teaches children around the world, including 70 kids in Ukraine who can earn dual diplomas in both countries.

Parker said many of her Ukrainian students have been displaced from their homes.

“I don’t know where they are, I don’t know if they’re in Ukraine,” Parker said. “I don’t know if they’re in Europe. I don’t know if they’ve traveled anywhere else at this point.”

Despite the chaos of war, she said the students recognize the opportunity that education brings and try to log on to classes when they can.

Parker said she’s lost communication with many of her Ukrainian students, but every now and again she gets a glimpse of hope.

“When I go on into my learning system, and I see that a student logged on Sunday night, I mean, I’m really really happy, because I know that in that moment they were safe enough to go into their class,” she said.

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Valley online teacher says her Ukrainian students are still trying to get an education amid crisis