Many of us college students know the trials and tribulations that have accompanied the switch to online learning. There have been so many expected changes and challenges in our learning experience that we have had to try to adapt to. Now, imagine yourself in middle and high school and think about how online learning would have affected you then. This is a question I have been pondering as a future educator. To answer this question, I asked one of my previous math teachers a few questions to see what the education experience at her school is like right now.
Q: How has teaching changed since the beginning of the Covid lockdown?
A: In the beginning of Covid lockdown, students and staff were fully remote. Now, students are in school every other day, and the days that they are home they are receiving live instruction through Google Meet.
Q: What has been the most challenging part of teaching during the pandemic?
A: The most challenging part of teaching during Covid is keeping the students motivated and engaged when they are only in the classroom every other day.
Q: How have your students been impacted by the new form of teaching?
A: Some negative impacts are inconsistencies with how teachers are running their classes and how students need to be flexible with things changing rapidly everyday. A positive impact is that increased technology allows all classes to be accessible to students 24/7.
Q: Have teaching and schooling become more unstable?
A: Going to school every other day has created some instability, although I feel that teachers are doing their best to make the educational system as stable as possible.
Q: How has this impacted how you make lessons?
A: There is just now the extra added element of technology that has taken time to get used to.
Q: What part of teaching during the pandemic has been the most challenging for you?
A: I enjoy activities in the classroom that involve group work and moving around the classroom. I have not been able to do any of these activities this year as a result of social distancing.
Q: Are there any elements of teaching during the pandemic that you hope stay around?
A: I hope that the use of Google Classroom stays around. This tool is a great way to bridge the gap between school and home, especially when students are absent. I also like the idea of live streaming for students that are not in class so that they can stay up to date with the material if they are home sick.
Q: What is the most challenging part of this for your students?
A: Students have to have motivation and self-discipline to sit in front of a computer all day, in their home, and put in their best effort without their teachers in front of them. This is a college level skill that they’re being asked to use in middle and high school. Students are also missing out on the social elements that school provides.
Q: How do you think the pandemic has affected the education system as a whole?
A: I think there are currently educational gaps that teachers and students will be seeing for years to come, but I do think that teachers were forced to incorporate technology that will benefit the education system.