Photo Courtesy of Leah Brody
Behind the scenes, teachers are doing more than one could imagine. Managing two different sections of every class, consolidating their lesson plans into 40 minutes, and navigating the novel online world of learning are just a few of the major challenges teachers are facing this school year.
Every class at MHS looks very different this year, and Ms. Malizia, MHS Physical Education teacher, can definitely feel the change. With each of her classes having cohorts learning either all remote or hybrid, she needs 3 lesson plans daily. Additionally, in-person PE looks very different. With classes that take place all outdoors, in masks, and six feet apart, new covid-friendly activities are required. This is especially challenging since with no equipment, exercise options are limited. Furthermore, trying to do vigorous activities is not possible while wearing masks.
Another faculty member, Mr. Talay, who teaches Global History at MHS, is finding it difficult just getting to know his students well. We all know the struggle of trying to navigate who is who while wearing masks! Aside from that, Mr. Talay is pleasantly surprised with how easily he has adjusted to this new normal. With the beginning of 50% capacity, he is excited to have more students in the classroom, as he knows the challenges students face learning over zoom.
While it might seem that classes typically on a computer would be relatively similar, Mr. Hohn, MHS Computer Science teacher, completely disagrees. In previous years, students would lean on each other for help with class work and questions, but now with very few students in most of his classes, the students do not have that connection. It is leading to the loss of community in the classroom, something Mr. Hohn feels is very important. One of his classes has an unusual and unfortunate cohort split of 16 and 4. While the 4 student class may feel too small or awkward, it is difficult to maintain social distance in the larger class. Mr. Hohn does appreciate being able to see students every day though (whether on zoom or in-person), and finds the addition of study hall to the schedule to be great.
These teachers shared suggestions on how to make COVID learning smoother for everyone during this new format of schooling. First off, try and ask as many questions as you can during class; with so many emails teachers are getting everyday, asking in-person is always best! Along with that, you should make an effort to get your work done on-time. While of course this is always expected, it can be difficult for teachers to check many different Google Classrooms. Make sure you establish a community in your classes so you have resources for questions and advice.
Let’s show appreciation for teachers–they really are the heroes of this pandemic!