Teachers share perspectives on constant switching between learning models

Teachers+share+perspectives+on+constant+switching+between+learning+models

By Grace Kuryan, Staff Reporter

Students are not the only ones facing challenges this year: teachers are also experiencing obstacles and learning to adapt to the constant back and forth between schooling models. The T/E School District has recently been switching between the virtual and hybrid models of learning. 

 One thing many teachers are struggling with is learning how to interact with all of their students, both in-person and online. 

“I have students in front of me and students on the screen, and I want to give each of those audiences an equal amount of attention,” said Algebra 1 and Math Analysis teacher Rebecca Aichele.

Since teachers have the uncertainty of being in school or at home, their lesson plans must be able to work in both models. This way, they can cover the same material. 

“I have revised my lessons so that they fit in both models, all my classes are project based. I make my lessons more personable for students and allow more student choice,” said Kirby Turner, Family Consumer Sciences teacher. 

Not being able to interact with their students while they are at home is very hard for teachers. In a virtual class with no student’s cameras turned on, teachers are essentially teaching to a blank screen, which makes it challenging for them to interact with their students. 

“No one’s cameras are on in my classes. It just feels like there’s a little bit of disconnect, so I just have to work a little bit harder to ask questions,” said Ashley Blanks, biology and topics in life science teacher. 

Many teachers teach from home during the virtual model of schooling. However, some teachers decide to teach from the building so they can give their students the feel of being in a classroom. 

“I try to give as much of a feel of in class as I can, even though we’re all virtual. I really try my best to make it feel like we’re all together,” Aichele said. 

One of the things the teachers miss the most is the small talk with their students before and after class. Small talk is how teachers are able to get to know their students better and create personal relationships with them. This year it is much harder for them to do so. 

  “We miss our students, we really miss getting to know you, getting to see you, getting to have those easy conversations at the beginning and the end of class,” said Emily McGready, world history teacher. 

One of the hardest things for teachers is not being able to establish a daily routine. They have to deal with the uncertainty of being in person or virtual. 

“I think that a challenge is when a routine is broken, and then getting into a new routine for a couple of days or a couple weeks. Then when you switch back, it again takes a couple of days to get back into that routine,” Aichele said. 

For many people being at school can be intimidating since recently there have been many COVID-19 cases in our area. It is important that the students and staff remain safe so there are no major outbreaks in the school. 

“I do feel like I’m safe at school,” Blanks said. “I feel like the school is doing the best they can and doing a good job.”