Covid-19 has brought a lot of hardships to the world over the past year. It was an unexpected bump in the road that resulted in a lot of crashes. One thing covid majorly affected all over the world is school. Most all schools shut down, and had all online learning. Remote learning caused teachers, and districts to find new ways to provide kids with information. It was a struggle for some teachers, but not all about it was bad.
Within the tornado of having to learn how to give kids new information over a computer, some teachers found things that still work for them. I wanted to find some positives in all of this, so I asked some teachers at Dripping Springs High School what those things were for them.
First off we have Ms. Batson, an English teacher, “One of the things that was most important to me was classroom community and culture. One of the ways I bridged the gap between in-person and remote students was the use of journal warm ups and class discussions at the beginning of every class period.. they span from emotional intelligence questions and reflections, to content-related ideas.” She goes on to talk about how it helped students connect, when they shared their opinion.
Obviously with the two different sets of students for one class period, it can be hard to find a way for them to work together. Batson was able to find a way that worked for her, and even still uses it now. Another problem teachers faced with remote learning was not being able to connect with their students. You may never realize how much a teacher tries to connect and build a relationship with you.
Ms. Riddlebarger stated, “Last year I took the time to talk to each one individually on a regular basis both about their classwork, but also about what was going on outside of class, whether that be extra-curricular activities or their jobs, or even something as simple as a new pet. I found that it helped build a mutual trust between me and my students and also showed them that I care more about them as people, not just as students in my classes.” She also said how it’s harder now that classes are full, but she’s putting in more of an effort to make students feel seen.
Finally I talked to Mr. Mcclafferty. He was able to list off many positives he found, and I chose some of my favorites to share. Firstly, “Many things that I was “forced” to learn by necessity that I would probably not have bothered with during a normal school year. Like deadlines can be a little fluid… Not everything needs a hard deadline. It is good to be flexible.” He took notice that times were hard, and everyone was struggling. It allowed him to learn that sometimes students need a little extra time. He also touched on the subject that Ms. Riddelbarger did, connecting with students. He said, “ I got a glimpse into your daily life through Zoom. It was nice to get to see bedrooms and homes (or even what fake background people would choose) in zoom because it gave me a little glimpse into people’s personal life in a way that talking to them could never quite relay.”
He was able to use zoom as a way to connect with his students, and see more of their personality. Overall, a lot of bad things happened last year. With schools going back to normal now, and everyone taking time to focus on the bad that covid brought, I wanted to take my own view. Even though this is only three teachers’ opinions I was able to get a lot of good things from them.