How Teachers Have Revolutionized Their Classrooms Post-COVID-19
Photo Credit: Katerina Holmes/Pexels
As the world continues to battle COVID-19, teachers have likewise had to adapt to the unprecedented conditions brought about by the global health crisis. Teaching in the traditional classroom setting was challenging enough. Suddenly, teachers were tasked with translating their methods into the online environment, all while managing new social and educational dynamics.
While some schools are reopening across the globe, we’ll never forget what teachers went through at the onset of the pandemic and what many of them continue to face. Here are some of the challenges that teachers have been confronting in their virtual classrooms and how they have taught themselves to teach well in the new normal.
Choosing the Right Digital Tools — and Navigating Them
Teleconferencing tools were straightforward enough to use, and learning platforms like Google Classroom helped keep things organized. But imagine teaching young kids how to mute and unmute themselves on Zoom. And tech issues aside, imagine having to manage a virtual class of up to 70 students.
Then there was the question of how to create and administer tests online. For example, many teachers have had to learn how to maximize the use of online form builders to create quizzes. Meanwhile, one-on-one conferences were more appropriate for other classes.
Different classes have different needs, and it was up to the teachers to be resourceful and choose the most accessible and efficient online tools to aid their students’ learning and be creative and maximize these tools.
Creating Rules of Classroom Netiquette
Traditional classrooms weren’t always easy to manage, but being in the same physical space at least made it easier to connect with students. Distance learning has required teachers to create a whole new set of rules to maintain discipline and foster productivity in their virtual classrooms.
Teachers have had to teach students to make themselves presentable in front of the camera, keep chatbox discussions educational, answer their emails on time and practice honesty when it comes to their schoolwork. Amid the disruption caused by the pandemic, teachers have managed to find ways to add order and structure to their students’ learning experience.
Keeping Students Engaged and Motivated
While school administrations have managed to switch millions of American children to distance learning, not all of these students are turning up to their online classes, most especially at the onset of the pandemic. In fact, it was reported early last year that 15,000 high school students from Los Angeles were not participating in their online classes, and 40,000 didn’t communicate with their teachers daily.
The absences often have to do with a lack of access to computers and a stable internet connection. Other times, students have simply been struggling to stay engaged with online schoolwork.
As a result, teachers have had to work harder to retain the students who do show up while adjusting to these students’ varying circumstances. They have to educate while being mindful of the fact that many of their students are also struggling with how the pandemic has altered their day-to-day life.
From presenting lessons in new and interesting ways to getting parents’ support for their children’s learning, teachers continue to strive to keep students’ education intact despite the times.
Teachers have always been pillars of society, and they have proven it more than ever over the past year. Schools reopening their doors does not mean that the challenge for them is over. Rising cases of COVID-19 and ever-changing health protocols will continue to demand their adaptability, creativity, and commitment. As we prepare to support our students for the coming school year, let’s take a moment to think about how we can support their teachers as well.
This post is part of a series honoring beloved teachers who make a difference with their kindness, love, and wisdom each day. Thank you to all of our educators from all of us at CircleAround.com. To read other stories in this series, please click here.