From The Other Side Of The Computer

Teachers share their opinion on the beginning of the virtual school year.

This year has seen many changes from a national lockdown to ending in-person learning earlier this spring. Now we have heard an ample amount of opinions from students and parents, but not much from teachers.
“Initially, I wanted online school because I want all students and staff at South to be healthy, and I think the numbers being as they were just weren’t going to allow us to be in person safely,” French teacher Samantha Murphy said.
Child Development, FAID and Apparel Production teacher Rachel Neuman shared the same concern for the students and staff health.
“I honestly wanted whatever was going to be the safest option for students, teachers and all faculty,” Neuman said.
Many teachers expressed their struggles with Webex, the district’s chosen video-conferencing application. Many teachers are also struggling with not being able to connect with students. Whether it is because the students are distracted in class, not participating, or simply don’t have their camera on it has been an issue.
“I use a lot of websites, videos, discussions, and like to hear students’ thoughts,” government and econ teacher Tony Budetti said. “This is incredibly difficult to do online.”
Other teachers have had struggles with navigating through Canvas, many having to change their lesson plans to accommodate online learning.
“I have had to tweak and leave some items out,” health teacher Sue Williams said. “As I become comfortable with Canvas, I am hoping to try new ways to get the information across but at the moment I am doing what I know to teach.”
Mrs.Williams was also saddened she could not host guest speakers for her classes due to online learning.
Murphy has tried to incorporate some type of physical activity in online learning. Last year she had her students play games like rock, paper, scissors. To try and do something similar to that on online learning she gives her students a break in class, so they can stretch, go get a drink or do whatever they need.
AP European History teacher Scott Hirons said he hopes to become a better teacher throughout this year, Budetti also had similar feelings about the year.
“I hope I can leap pretty quickly to being a decent online teacher, and I am MORE hopeful that kids are in my room soon,” Budetti said.