by: Chris Pinchera
In a year where nothing is guaranteed, I'm looking to see how students and teachers feel online school has affected the school community and how we learn.
How do teachers see online schooling? Is it effective, is it more difficult and are students getting as much as they are putting in?
I took these questions over to one of the most respected teachers in our school, English teacher John Martin. I wasted no time in our interview and tried to figure out what it was teachers were struggling with in this online stint.
He seemed to believe that one of the main challenges he's had to face over the course of the year is connecting with his students and building a safe learning community. “It’s so easy for students to log off and get their work done, but that's only half the high school experience,” he said. I couldn't agree more with what he said because we lack that joy of joking around in the classroom and those small times talking with teachers as people.
He also went on to tell me about the experiments he's had to do throughout the last year or so to see what works for students. Not everything works for all students and some stuff is just easier to other kids in an online setting.
That being said, I've experienced this first hand while talking to friends and other students, some things that they may find easy I may see it as a challenge because of the layout or maybe even just because I'm at home. When asked what students struggle with the most he responded in a fairly simple and expected manner by saying managing their time and all of their work.
I approached a friend and fellow student Rory Stickley and tried to find out his feelings on online schooling and he was quick to tell me he doesn't see it as being as effective as when we are in the building.
I asked him his biggest struggle in his final year of high school and he replied with, “The college process has been something that I feel like a lot of people weren't ready for, including myself, and it almost feels like everything was rushed.”
With decision day looming in a little less than 2 months, seniors find themselves scattering to figure what they want to do in the future while getting back to some sort of normalcy for their last 3-4 months of high school.
When I asked what he felt the school community was like in this time, he didn't hesitate to say, “Tt feels like it's not even there anymore.” He elaborated on losing his football season and what that meant to his teammates and the school itself.
With everything going on in a bizarre year there wasn't much that Stickley had to say beside.s “look where we are now” in a frustrated tone due to the fact that we still are yet to see much change.
Finding good in a bad situation can be very difficult especially when it's gone on as long as COVID-19 has, and the question that I and many others find themselves asking is: Will things change? Are we going to get what we want and what we deserve after a long and tortuous year?
With the virus numbers going down and vaccines being released we hope to see our peers and teachers walking through the halls just one last time before we move on.
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