A teacher named Christina Berke wrote an article discussing her thoughts on the effect of the pandemic and the implications of online schooling. She says that the lack of student connection has created a lonely, isolated, and overall depressing teaching atmosphere. The student-teacher relationship is weakened through communicating via electronic means.
She says that her classes often had a no-technology policy as she found it to be easier to see students’ reactions while she was teaching, and this allowed her to change or continue how she was teaching on the spot from receiving immediate verbal and nonverbal feedback. For example, if she noticed that the students were confused she would slow down. The overall vibe of a classroom motivated her to be more enthusiastic and to spend time decorating the classroom for her students.
However, during online school, she said that it was harder to teach students as they were much more easily distracted since it was easy to stay muted while having other tabs open. She says it is much harder to teach as she feels that she has to be more entertaining than whatever it could be that is distracting her students. Along with this, she is unable to see a student’s reaction as most of her students will have their cameras off and microphones muted. This creates an extremely one sided, distant relationship instead of the close and convenient one present in a real classroom.
She says that she is often unable to address any of the students’ feelings of loneliness and isolation as she also feels it herself. She tries her best to make this an easier experience for them by extending deadlines, providing links to mental health websites etc. Nevertheless, these online-mediated relationships never feel as natural or meaningful as speaking with the students one-to-one in real life.Tags: covid-19, distance learning, learning, mental health, online learning, pandemic, social media, teaching, videoconferencing
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This post was written by Bhavya Lamba