Not all heroes wear capes. Instead, some wear dress shirts and sweatpants, and are still working hard during the current coronavirus pandemic. Students and teachers are both busy trying to adjust to online education. For many teachers, this is a new way to teach, and for many students, this is a new way to learn.
For Robert Hawk, an eighth-grade English teacher, the struggle to turn his classroom online is still on-going and requires time to adjust to. Hawk was given a 30-minute training course on how to use Google Classroom -- an online space for class materials and discussions. Otherwise, he was on his own.
“It was super basic to teach the fundamentals of Google Classroom, in which we watched another teacher use it, and then were told to go out and try it,” Hawk said.
For many teachers and students, this is the first time they’ve ever used a program like this to learn. Although it’s been helpful in communicating with students, there are some issues teachers have run into.
“It’s not compatible with our grading Progressbook, so I have to do everything on paper and transfer it over. It also takes up so much storage in my cloud because I’m receiving 750 different paragraphs at the same time,” Hawk said.
Other teachers are concerned students are so used to traditional learning that it’s harder for them to adjust to the online style. Fellow teacher Erin Lawerence helps students struggling with classwork.
“As a teacher, I worry that a majority of these students have learned the traditional way through structure that is given in the classroom. I think our expectations need to be high for them during this time, but flexible. A little is better than none, which would not typically be my philosophy or way of thinking in our traditional classrooms,” Lawerence said.
Some students would rather be in a classroom environment learning, and find it difficult to concentrate.
“Many students would rather write them and print them off; they don’t want to type them and send them in,” Hawk said.
Students are starting to miss classes and being taught in person. One of Hawk’s students, Griffin Ringle, feels online classes aren’t beneficial to students.
“I miss sitting in class and having the teacher tell us what to do for homework, and getting to work in partners. I feel like I’m already falling behind a lot, and that’s because I don’t have anyone teaching me all day,” Ringle said.
Another student of Hawk’s, Lexi Blodgett, feels as though she isn’t receiving enough work.
“It seems that we aren’t learning as much material because we don’t have the teachers here to help us break things down or go over more in depth,” Blodgett said.
Carson Sauber is a student who sees online classes affecting his living environment.
“After a school day ends, going home is relaxing, and a lot of other students agree. To switch from a calm and collected schedule to having your relaxed environment taken over by adding schoolwork is very overwhelming,” Sauber said.
On the other side, there are students who feel as though online classes have benefited them.
“It’s easier to get work done because you can relax and do it at home rather than worrying about going to class,” student Braylon Auble said.
There are also students that feel their organization skills such as timing and planning became a lot better because of online classes.
“It’s honestly made me put more effort into doing school since I’m usually on electronics a lot anyways,” student Jazalynne Criblez said.
Like a normal school day, the class is done by periods to try to keep normalcy. First period is 8-8:30 a.m., next is 9-9:30 a.m. and so on for all students. During class, assignments that were posted on Google Classroom are graded and looked over while the class discusses the book assignment and future assignments.
“If they met with kids on Tuesday/Thursdays, keep the times the same as the classes. But shorten them a bit, so they have time to ask questions if need be at the end,” Hawk advised teachers.