A Project for Better Journalism chapter

The State of Online Teaching

Since March of the last school year up until now, students have been doing online school. By now, both teachers and students are tired of it and are eager to return to campus physically and get things back to normal. There are 2 options for the remainder of this semester. The first option is to remain online until December 17th, which is when the semester ends. The second option is to follow a hybrid-learning schedule, which requires students and teachers to return to campus for 2 out of 5 of the school days, and to complete the remaining 3 online. Hybrid-learning will also consist of two different, split up groups going to school on opposite days of each other.

Students have been working twice as hard to get the boatloads of homework and assignments they are assigned everyday completed. With everything being taught in such a rush, Alexander Cortes, junior, says, “I feel like everything I’m learning is going by too fast to process.” In a physical classroom, we won’t have as much work to do because we won’t have to rush every assignment to just get it done before the semester ends. Teachers also can’t wait to return back to school because teaching online is certainly more challenging for them as well. Trying to cram in a unit of studying into 5 days isn’t the ideal way of teaching and helping students retain information. 

Tests are also a problem for students and teachers. Students may feel less motivated to put all their effort into a test with the fact being that they are being taken at home rather than an actual classroom. Being physically present in a classroom helps students feel like they need to do their best, rather than taking a test on their bed, which most likely causes them to slack. For teachers, they also feel pressured to get every single thing they need to teach in before a test is assigned. This may cause them to skip over some things to teach, or simply just miss them because they are too focused on trying to get everything done.

A former teacher from Mountain Sky, Ms. Yee, shared, “Getting to know my new students virtually has been challenging for us all. Creating personal connections is such a huge part of the learning environment and not being able to build those as we would normally do has made learning different, also competing with the outside environmental factors, (TikTok, Netflix, family members.) It’s challenging without the in person interaction. Talking to a screen and getting no response has been a large blow to my ego and it makes it difficult to gauge learning levels and student understanding.”

Some might say returning back to campus is a bad idea. With the pandemic still being a problem, students and teachers might feel unsafe to be around others. By taking precautions and making sure that everything is clean, I believe that returning back to school is not a bad idea, even with a hybrid schedule, which is what is planned for us.