Move to online learning not often a smooth transition

Like every Lansing teacher, English teacher Robin Elliott has had to adjust to teaching from home. Her home office is very different from her classroom. Here, she said she is “pondering why I am inside… and why does it continue to rain.”

As the coronavirus quarantine seems to be everlasting, students have had to make the jump from real classes to virtual ones. For many, this may not even come as a drastic change in their day to day lives. Many students have made the switch to online classes before any of this madness even started and decided it was right for them. 

For Everett’s teachers however, this may prove to be a bit harder. Even though teachers have had to use technology more and more to teach their classes, teaching classes online is an entirely different ball park. Going straight from in class to online is never an easy switch, and when you’ve been teaching in a classroom for years, it can be a big leap.

“It is harder for me because I get distracted by everything,” says English teacher Robin Elliott. “As for teaching, I am trying to navigate away from 27 years of being in front of class interacting in a similar way. Now, I have to do different things, and we all know about my level of comfort with technology.”

For teachers like Elliott whose main goal in the class is to create a dialogue among the class, this is nearly impossible unless the entire class decides to join the Google Meet or Zoom chat.

Getting ready to teach online was not a smooth transition for many. Biology teacher Stephanie Robinson said that it took some effort, between setting up the virtual classroom and making sure her students were set up as well.

“I watched several videos on how to set-up/use Google Classroom to figure things out.  It was also difficult trying to figure out what to teach during my three-week course,” said Robinson. “We have had issues contacting students because phone #s and/or emails for students or parents don’t always work.” 

Even though Google Classroom and Zoom are greatly helping students and teachers see more class time, the pandemic has shown that most schools were not ready to move completely online. While some resources were shared for teachers scrambling to learn, professional development classes are being looked at to help everyone feel more prepared for whatever the fall may bring.

Everett teachers are doing the best that they can with what they have been given. This year may not have ended like everyone hoped, but even if the class of 2020 won’t be at Everett next year, the teachers will be there, ready to teach their classes however they need to.

 

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Will George

Current Reporter of The Viking Voice

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