Class From the Other Side of the Camera
“The teachers’ perspective of the new school format”
November 5, 2020
Online school is a new experience for students. Adapting to a new way of life and environment when one is used to a different way for so long is something rather difficult. Students have had to endure the change and roll with the punches but, it’s easy to fail to see or acknowledge that teachers have to endure the same change.
Teachers have also grown accustomed to the “normal way of life” with their jobs. They have their own methods, they know how to connect with students, and they continue to develop their skills each year. But no amount of experience could’ve prepared them for the shake-up of a lifetime that is online schooling. The adjustment hasn’t been simple for both sides of the camera and a lot has changed for teachers.
“The most challenging part initially was learning how to navigate Canvas because we were using Google Classroom before the pandemic,” Forensics and Anatomy teacher Mrs. Knott stated. This is a common problem for students but they can sometimes not see that teachers had to learn this system as well.
Every teacher teaches a different subject and develops various ways of relaying information, but online schooling can drastically affect that as well.
“It has been very challenging because especially in forensics, my classes were seventy to eighty percent activities. I’ve had to modify my curriculum to adjust to distance learning, so it’s busy and hectic for me,” Knott says. “I also feel bad for the students that were looking forward to the labs that we can’t do,” Knott continued. Teachers want to do the best that they can so that students can succeed.
Teachers are going through the same process that students have to go through, “Sometimes students tell me ‘I don’t get this’ and I tell them that I don’t get it either. I am able to share that experience with them,” Government teacher Mr. Milbrandt said.
Milbrandt and other teachers utilize a system called ‘Wellness Wednesdays’ to get an idea of how students are feeling whether it be about school or general day-to-day life. Teachers want students to not only succeed educationally but to be okay in their lives as well.
“I want to see them [students] and see how they’re doing. When I see a downcast in a student’s eyes or hear a sadness in their voice I just want to say ‘hey, how can I help you?,” Milbrandt stated.
It is difficult for students to adjust to a new way of life, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that teachers share this struggle with them as well. This is a shared fight and as Mr. Milbrandt said, “This too shall pass.”