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My Thoughts on Professors During Online Learning

Everyone seems to have the same opinion on zoom university­­­­­–– it sucks.

We’ve now had almost two complete quarters of online learning, and it seems as though we’re all struggling to finish. The first quarter we were online, I was taking two LSJ classes alongside a Chicano History Studies class. To my surprise, my professors were incredibly understanding about the whole pandemic while were just trying to continue learning and just you know, stay sane. All my finals were canceled in spring quarter last year, or they were made optional, obviously meaning I did not take them.

 

When talking to other students, it seems as though there’s a pretty common trend in how professors are treating students amid online learning. Most professors are being somewhat considerate towards their students. But, it seems like most of the professors who aren’t being as accommodating are in the STEM field.

Now, I finished taking all required natural world classes, so I can’t 100% guarantee this as I’m obviously not in any STEM classes. But, from what I’ve heard from fellow classmates and friends, many of the STEM professors are requiring students to act as though we aren’t in the middle of a pandemic. They expect students to be 100% present in all classes and keep up with the workload, which many professors have upped in order to accommodate the lack of present class time.

 

Thankfully, I’m in a lot of humanities classes, and as such, my professors tend to be more empathetic towards their students. My English professor always starts our synchronous lessons by asking how we are doing and also sharing how they’re feeling about current events. My philosophy professor does the same, always emphasizing the importance of self-care and prioritization of our mental health.

Despite the fact that these might seem like really small things, even just having an individual with some sort of authority ask us how we’re doing honestly means a lot.

 

I think…I take that back, I know a lot of us are struggling right now, and that’s okay! I feel as though a lot of people, professors included of course, tend to think that ‘taking it easy’ is instead taking the easy way out of things. But right now, that couldn’t be further from the truth. For a while, if one took a day off school or asked for an extension on an assignment, professors weren’t hesitant to punish a student or give them a hard time for it. I think that type of mindset needs to be unincorporated during our lives as we continue online learning for the time being.

As a society, I think we need to move past the idea of things needing to be done and never giving ourselves a break. Thankfully, a lot of professors have adapted to a more empathetic grading or teaching style, but there is still room for growth. I hope that as we continue with online learning, professors continue to listen to their students’ feedback and communicate their personal struggles such as adapting to the online format. Not only would that lead to a better learning environment for students, but also a better online community for professors as well.

After all, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, so it’s important for everyone to keep each other’s well being in mind as we continue online education.

marina martinez

Washington '22

Marina is a junior at the UW and is majoring in Sociology with a minor in Writing. Marina is a Washington native and is passionate about all things social justice, defeating the patriarchy, and writing. In her free time, she loves binge-watching tv shows, scrolling through tik tok, thrift shopping and napping.
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