Teaching Remotely

Sierra Lloyd, Editor

Over this period of virtual learning, we’ve learned a lot about ourselves. We’ve learned a lot about each other. We’ve learned a lot about the durability of this country’s educational system. And, just as interestingly, we high school students have learned a lot about our teachers.

From what their living room wall looks like to how loud their children are, virtual class meetings have been a window into the home lives of our educators. Whether we like it or not, the fact that teachers don’t sleep in their classrooms is forcefully apparent. 

Additionally, the practice of at-home learning – and teaching – is separating teachers into distinct groups. There are the teachers who, through all the ups and downs of school update emails, have stayed committed to their once or twice a week class meetings, no matter how many students actually show up. In contrast, there are the teachers students have barely heard from since before spring break, save a few assignments posted on Google Classroom. Many teachers turn to internet resources, posting links to videos explaining the content students would normally be working on. Many others, convinced there are no such resources to be found, encourage students to do their best with what they have. 

Students observe from afar the obstacles their teachers must overcome. From their moral battles surrounding grading ethics, to their defeat by simple technology, educators face much that could do them in. Even the looming question: Are the kids even learning anything?, something asked multiple times during a regular school day, has become even more eminent. All teachers and students have by now experienced a Google Meeting that, fifteen minutes in, everyone realizes was a complete waste of time. Such realizations are crippling for morale, one factor that could explain Google Meetings’ slipping attendances. 

Like us highschoolers, teachers seem conflicting in their opinions on working remotely. “I don’t like it,” David Lloyd, a 7th grade science teacher at Fruita Middle School puts plainly. “I don’t find it to be effective.” At the same time, he commends the extra free time he has each day. Other teachers lament how terrible everyone looks in virtual meetings, the awkward silences in such meetings after they ask their students a question, and the fact that they no longer receive popcorn on Fridays. 

This article, for the record, is being written during National Teacher Appreciation week. While students have not entered classrooms or spoken with educators in-person for a very long time, teachers are still doing the hard work of instilling knowledge into young minds. Or, at least, many are trying to. Having to complete schoolwork while sitting 5ft from one’s bed all day proves to be a motivation sap for students and teachers alike. Regardless, in celebration, take one moment out of the many, many moments you have at your disposal to appreciate the work FMHS teachers and their counterparts do. Maybe write one of them a card, or an email expressing such appreciation, as well as to clarify, once again, whether the work they assigned is required.