Teachers everywhere are struggling with teaching classes virtually. FACS teachers specifically have one of the toughest times teaching because their classes are more hands-on then the rest. One of the FACS teachers at Shawano High School, Ms. Daneille Evans, gave her thoughts on how she is handling the current school shutdown situation.
“I have a love/hate relationship with everything going on right now. I absolutely despise the fact that we are in a virtual teaching mode, but I honestly like virtual better than the orange level blended option,” explained Ms. Evans. “At least in this virtual mode, I can ‘see’ all of my students at one time. They still get to have conversations together, and that is the one thing I know students need.”
Ms. Evans looks at both the bad and the good of virtual learning, always looking at the brighter side of things. Another teacher at Shawano High, Ms. Rebecca Blaubach says, “I’m not a big fan of not getting to have in person instruction.”
Difficulties are going to happen, and there could be many of them.
“Some difficulties I have come across on a personal level is trying to find the ‘right’ set up for teaching classes,” Ms. Evans stated. “I have had to do a full 180 on some of my lessons, and all of my labs that I am struggling to decide how to best proceed. I have had students who come in and out with poor internet connections, and I have had students who log on to a meeting and then are MIA during the meeting.”
It is shown that the learning experience is different compared to “normal” but that does not mean that it is a bad thing. Each student learns differently, and virtually could be a good way to obtain more progressive learning.
“In all reality I feel like the students are getting more information in this mode than they would in-person only because we have more opportunity for them to complete their labs outside of class time,” Ms. Evans said. “So instead of having 10 to 15 in-person labs, we have maybe two or three teacher demos, and the rest is time to talk about the topics and such.”
Having to deal with technology on a daily basis has its troubles on its own with wifi not working or battery issues. It may not always be the technology with the issue, but the students with the technology.
“I can tell when students have had enough of staring at a screen because it is written all over their faces, but it’s really hard to tell what students are thinking or feeling if they don’t have their cameras on,” Ms. Blaubach explained.
Most teachers feel worried when they do not know how a student is doing, both in class and at home. The relationship between students and teachers is an important part of the learning process.
When asked what her least favorite part of online classes was, Ms. Blaubach responded, “My least favorite part is not getting to build the solid relationships with my students that I get to do when we are in the classroom.”
It is not always a struggle just for the students, but the teachers as well. Having to deal with the difficulties the shutdown has caused for them is not an easy task, and they deserve as much appreciation as they can get.