By Jasmine Deamus
Since Covid-19 hit, schools have had to come up with another way for students to learn, virtual/e-Learning. While students have had to pick up on this new way of learning, another group of people who are trying to pick up on this new way of learning are teachers.
There’s over 4,000 teachers in the IPS district, one of 420 school districts in Indiana., IPS has 70 schools and 31,885 students (as of 2019-2020).
Since e-Learning started in August, a big concern has been students’ grades decreasing, and students not learning as much as they did in person.
“It has to be incredibly hard to stay focused while virtual and at home. I know how hard it is for me to teach online, and I imagine it being even harder to be on the student end,” said Mrs. Feetterer, a biology teacher at Shortridge High School.
“I feel like it’s definitely easier for students to learn in person because it is a lot more social and hands on when we are all together in the classroom. However, I know there are some students who do enjoy working more at their own pace. I think it depends on the student.” said Mrs. Richardson, a freshman English teacher.
Mrs. Richardson that interaction in person is a valuable part of education.
“I prefer education in person, even though virtual is safest right now. I miss chatting with students, I miss working in groups, and I miss helping my students in person,” she said.. “So much of English class is socializing and having discussions, and I miss that a lot!”
When students don’t speak during online classes, or show their faces, it limits the teachers’ abilities to help the students, according to an article by Evi Arthur.
“If I could change one thing, I wish students would have their cameras on,” Mrs. Richardson said. “It is so hard to talk to circles all day. I miss seeing my students’ faces and interacting with them.”
Teachers use non-verbal communication to guide and pace their lessons.
“E-learning has definitely made things harder for me,” Mrs. Feetterer said. “Not being able to see students’ faces makes it difficult for me to know which students need help, have questions, etc. So much of teaching is picking up on these non-verbal cues.”
Elearning has also made it harder to plan lessons, Richardson said.
“I have to plan, re-plan, and then plan some more to make lessons not only accessible online, but also engaging for students,” Richardson said. “I have to respond to a lot more emails and questions, which also takes up a lot of time. It is stressful to make sure everything is organized and ready every day. There are so many links and pages to check, along with trying to avoid technology issues.”
But despite these challenges teachers have used innovation and technology to make education work .
“E-learning has been challenging and saddening as a teacher. I went into education because I love the human interaction and being able to help my students, and the virtual setting has made it quite hard to build relationships and care for my students the way I would like to as a teacher,” Mrs. Feetterer said. “I do believe that it has made me a better teacher in terms of coming up with new, innovative ways to teach curriculum and understanding what technology is available.”