Teacher’s struggles during distance-learning



What we thought would be an exciting two week break has turned into over a year of distance learning from home. How does this affect our teachers?

Briana Cassim, Junior Staff Writer

The world has been in a pandemic for over a year now, which has forced us to start distance learning. We, as students, can recognize how COVID has affected us, but how has the toll affected our teachers? What are our teachers’ thoughts on how COVID is affecting our school system?

COVID has affected our school system in a variety of ways that include students’ focus, connection, the difficulty of teaching from home, how our school system proceeds with hybrid learning, and so many other ways. It’s time to view this problem from our teacher’s perspective.

Firstly, there are many differences between lessons online and in person. This would include students’ reactions to different lessons. “When you’re teaching in person, you see student’s reactions to what you’re teaching and you adjust your lessons accordingly…But when doing lessons online, the only way to gauge student understanding, especially with all of the cameras off, is in the chat… then it gets really tricky,” Adina Kiriac, a teacher at Sam Barlow, states. This is one of the main difficulties that all of our teachers have to deal with, being able to see if a student is confused and finding ways to explain the lesson so everyone understands, but with online learning this concept is very limited. Another struggle for teachers is connecting with their students online. “It feels much more disconnected… I also see people turning in less…” Samantha Chin says. This brings us to another issue; student’s focus. 

We are all much more disconnected from school now that we work from home. We have an infinite amount of distractions, pets, family, our phone, TV, Youtube, and so many more. These all make our focus for school very small, even when we are trying to participate. “…for the most part, I have seen them ‘distancing’ themselves from the content,” Lauren Duncan, a math teacher at Barlow states. It is true to believe that every teacher, maybe even students, would agree that ever since distance learning started, focus throughout the students has not truly been there.

The closer we get to the end of the year, the closer we get to hybrid learning. As students get a choice to go back or not, teachers do not, but it is safe to say that the district is doing everything they can to make sure our return to school is safe. But we are left to question whether or not starting hybrid learning this year is a good idea. There are many mixed opinions for this topic. “There are a lot of students who are already struggling with everything and I am worried about adding one more thing to their plate,” Rachael Joyce states. “It doesn’t bode well for us. I think it should absolutely wait until next year!” Chin adds. This year has been quite an adventure, and going back to school tops it. Kiriac says, “I think that it’s good that we are dipping our toes into the Hybrid pond. It will definitely make next year easier…” And she makes a very fair point. After almost a whole school year of distance learning, it would be smart to slowly start going back to school, so we are more prepared for what to expect next year.

There are many issues with online learning, but there’s also many pros. Accessibility, flexibility, less pressure, and self-advocacy. Kiriac states, “Students are able to watch class recordings, view slideshows, and more through Google Classroom.”

Let’s be honest, we are all trying our best to complete online school/lessons successfully. Looking forward, it’s good that we can see how our school system has been affected through teachers eyes, and also what to expect.