BY GABI ISENBERG – Online learning. It’s a phrase that’s been heard a lot this year. Whether containing complaints or sympathy, it’s been mentioned in conversations all over the globe. Some people argue that public school teachers are not qualified to teach online and they’re not giving it their all. The truth is, however, that our teachers are working harder than anyone.
It’s hard to believe that less than a year ago, all IJHS students were in school full time and this pandemic wasn’t even a thought. The teachers were teaching normally and the students were learning normally. Then, in March, that all changed. Students had it bad. They were dealing with the challenge of trying to keep their grades up and learn online at the same time. Teachers had it worse, though. They had to learn how to use many different programs to ensure that IJHS students were properly prepared to learn. When the classrooms were open, teachers could use paper and pencil for everything. Now they have to learn how to use different platforms to teach.
“I am fortunate to have had a lot of prior experience with Google Classroom, but this year, my new challenge is a platform called Edgenuity. This platform is what we use for the IDEAL asynchronous cyber school. It is something I have never worked with before and I’m learning something new every single day as I navigate it,” said 6th-grade teacher Mrs. Katie Woodrow.
Almost every teacher is having a hard time with online learning. The specifics vary, though, ELA teacher Mrs. Jamie Lichtenfels said,
“For me, the hardest part is simultaneously giving at-home and in-school students the attention they need and deserve. It is difficult for teachers to give students our undivided attention when our classrooms are literally divided into two different locations and delivery methods.”
We are all facing the struggles of online learning. It’s just one more thing that COVID had thrown at us. Although hopes are high for IASD to return to full-time-in-person learning, it seems unlikely with the recent two-week closure. However, like with anything COVID-related, we all need to be sympathetic to others around us and understanding of situations. Give our teachers the benefit of the doubt, because things might be harder for them than anyone realizes.