Teacher thoughts on remote learning

Teacher thoughts on remote learning

Online school has proven to be a learning curve in itself, for both teachers and students, with many students disliking it already. Knowing how many students were already displeased with how the schedule was set up and running, we wanted to see how the teachers felt about the remote learning schedule.

It’s only been a week and many students and teachers alike are feeling the effects of going from 3 days online with no particular schedule and 2 in person, to 5 days a week on the same bell schedule we would have in school.

This is an abrupt change from having Wednesdays off, which everyone had gotten used to.

“From what I feel and what I hear, the lack of breaks and overall lack of energy that comes with this [is the hardest part],” says Spanish teacher Señora Kellermeyer.

Teachers are hearing their students expressing their opinions on the schedule every day, some feeling similar to the students.

“When speaking to my students, I have gathered that nobody really enjoys signing/meeting everyday and most feel it is irrelevant,” says art, ceramics and digital media teacher Mr. Wagner.

Some teachers are going along with what we’re doing and just riding the wave. “It is what it is,” says history teacher Mr. Studer.

Others are hoping for a possible change back to the hybrid schedule.

“I think the hybrid schedule did work better than remote,” says band director Mr. Wilson, “We did have a spike in cases when we returned 4 days a week, but under hybrid cases did not seem to spike, at least in school.”

Or even something as small as changing the way we’re doing remote learning.

“With the current Covid situation and our lack of subs, I believe being remote is the best thing right now,” says Spanish teacher Señora Kellermeyer, “[However], I don’t believe we are supporting our staff and students as best we can. Washington Local School District, [in Toledo], posted their remote learning plan and I would love to move to something like that.”

On January 11, the schedule will be re-evaluated, which is a positive and many teachers are looking forward to it, as this schedule changes the way many classes can run.

In this format, music classes can not run the way they normally do, with no real ability to have full group practices and connections.

“Music performance classes in schools are set up for groups. In the remote setting, the social and musical interaction portion of the class is lost,” says band director Mr. Wilson.

Art classes don’t have the chance to use the amazing art rooms we have at the high school or have that connectivity with their surroundings in those studios. “Teaching an art class remotely is never going to compare to teaching in the studio,” says art, ceramics, and digital media teacher Mr. Wagner.

For many teachers, they feel as though they are losing their connection with their students. Many are teaching into nothing but black screens or students are as willing to participate in discussion.

“I miss the relationship,” says Spanish teacher Señora Kellermeyer.

One of the largest struggles may be getting, and keeping, student engagement. That’s already a difficult task in a traditional school setting, let alone remotely.

“The students that want to be engaged with me are, but the ones that didn’t particularly want to come to my class don’t participate much at all,” says Spanish teacher Señora Kellermeyer.

Teachers are also worried about what students may or may not have access to at home versus if they were in the classroom.

“My biggest concern is that students will not have resources or get the attention they need. In person school can never be replaced,” says Mr. Wagner, “[There are] so many great interactions [that] happen in person.”

Ultimately, teachers are more concerned about how their students are doing than anything.

“I also worry about student burnout and any mental stress these times are causing. Students need a voice in all of this,” says Mr. Wagner.

As we approach the re-evaluation of the schedule we currently have, teachers and students alike are hoping for a change.

“The grass may be greener on the other side, and …it may not be,” says history teacher Mr. Studer.

All we can do is hope for a change.

If you have any thoughts on the schedule, what you do or don’t like, please write an email to the school board. It could help to give them an insight on what the experience has been like, both for teachers or for students, and why or why it does not need to change.