Catering Teacher Takes the Kitchen to Zoom

Catering Teacher Takes the Kitchen to Zoom

Janelle Camba, Editor in Chief

After a month of virtual learning, teachers learned to adapt to the challenges of Zoom calls and spotty internet connections. However, Jennifer Riley-Edwards, Kempsville High School’s catering teacher, has not only adapted, but thrived in this new environment.


“Now that we are a few weeks in, the… limitations over Zoom are rare,” said Riley-Edwards.


In a typical in-person class, students would practice proper food safety and participate in weekly labs. On top of that, students gained additional experience by catering special events for Kempsville High School. Last year, the class catered for the Community Engagement Awards Reception held at the school.


However, virtual learning forced Riley-Edwards to get even more creative. Now, catering students go on virtual field trips, listen to guest speakers from local restaurants, and design their own restaurant—complete with menus, a marketing plan, and decor.


In a video posted to Twitter, students and staff alike can get an idea of what online class with Riley-Edwards entails. During the clip, she teaches to students using what appears to be a standard Youtube setup.


“As soon as I realized students wouldn’t be going back into the building right away, I started doing some research online and speaking with other culinary teachers on what equipment might help make my demonstrations visually better for the students,” said Riley-Edwards. “Shout out to Mrs. Timlin and Mr. Saunders for helping me with equipment ideas and the set up!”


Riley-Edwards transformed her classroom into a filming area. To give students a good view of each demonstration, she attaches her webcam to a ring light. On top of that, Riley-Edwards straps a GoPro camera to her head for a “POV” angle and sends the recordings to students who can’t attend the live sessions.


“I have enjoyed getting to learn about the different technology and learning platforms available. This will benefit… my students in the years to come,” said Riley-Edwards.