Student Teaching….Online

Sean Stewart

The largest impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had is in the forced quarantine for much of the country. We all know it has caused the closing of non-essential businesses and the suspension of all major sports events, but it has also taken a large toll on the educators and students of America.

Online learning is never the best option for learning, despite the convenience factor. It is just a fact that learning is more effective when provided in a face to face manner. With state governments closing down schools for weeks at a time, this has caused many teachers to scramble to adapt their traditional lessons to an online format.

This has also been true for student teachers, who have found themselves thrown off the metaphorical horse just as they were starting to get the hang of it. Being one of these student teachers, I decided I wanted to talk about my experience of teaching high schoolers online.

My school has one-to-one iPad use for all students, so online learning is not an issue. This is not the case, though, for many districts around the country. I am very fortunate to be able to continue instruction online. However, what is the state of this online instruction?

It is honestly more assigning work and answering emails than actual lecture. The issue is that with high school, it is very difficult to get 20ish fifteen-year-olds into one zoom meeting and trust them to be able to control themselves. This means that I have leaned heavily on assigning paragraph responses and comprehension questions. My school has required that an assignment is posted for the students everyday. With each student getting 8 assignments per day, that limits the length and involvement my assignments can be. In general, the students are getting more work and doing less analysis and discussion, something essential to an English class curriculum.

I believe this has opened many people’s eyes when it comes to online learning, including districts across the country. The sooner we get back to in-person learning, the better. 

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