What online school is like from a teacher’s perspective
The current pandemic has heavily affected classrooms across the United States, and the world. Since schools have been moved online, everyone has had to adjust, especially teachers. Though the class content has stayed the same for many, teaching styles and resources have had to adapt to online school. Once school is back in the classroom, some of these changes could possibly become definite.
“I like the idea of recording lectures for students who are absent,” said theater and photography teacher, Nicholas Freeman. “Or finding ways to invite them to participate if they are home sick and wish to follow along with the rest of the class.”
Many resources such as Edpuzzle, LyricsTraining, and Flipgrid have proven very useful during these times, and could be incorporated into school once it’s back in the classroom. These platforms use videos and other online tools to create fun activities and discussions that students can participate in remotely.
Not being able to see students in person is hard for a teacher.
“Teachers are always reading their students’ non-verbal cues,” said Spanish teacher Anne Calvin, “and the current circumstances have shifted how we can do that effectively.”
Although school can be stressful, it’s also a place to have fun by engaging with fellow students and teachers.
“I also feed off of my students’ energy and they make me laugh,” said Calvin, “so I am missing that a lot.”
However, not everything about online school is bad.
“What I like about this is I am having to rethink what content is important,” said Freeman. “I like having more time to connect with students individually.”
Online school is convenient in some ways, but it takes a teacher to learn, and technology can’t fully provide that.
“You can certainly learn most of what you need to be prepared for college, from an information standpoint, using online means right now, but how much would you rather be sitting in Mrs. Beck’s class, hanging out together in the commons, or chatting with Mr. Freeman?” said Julie Winn, curriculum and instruction specialist. “We become who we are because we shape one another in community. There is no online substitution for that.”
Clearly, online school can be useful if needed, and maybe it will be used more often in the future. Freeman and many others are asking the question: “Are snow days a thing of the past?”