How do teachers feel about teaching to blank screens?


Courtesy of Kaeli Newcomb

A Zoom classroom that shows computer generated profiles, instead of students’ smiling faces.

Kaeli Newcomb, Staff Writer

Students in Worcester County have been slowly returning to in-person school. A wave approach is being used to eventually make a full return, by gradually bringing back students over a series of weeks. Wave one returned to school on Feb. 1, wave two returned on Feb. 8, and wave three returned on Feb. 16. While school has been entirely virtual, daily classes are held on Zoom where live conferences take place with teachers and students, to simulate life in the real classroom.

Distance learning has been an adjustment for everyone. The lack of social events, having to be away from everyone, and not being able to establish normal relationships with your teachers outside of a screen have had impacts on students mental health and grades.

Tatum Vorsteg, a sophomore at Decatur shared her feelings on distance learning . “I prefer in person learning. I have a difficult time focusing, and being in school removes those distractions. In person learning also helps me to ask more questions and be more interactive with the class,” she stated.

Distance learning prevents real human interaction and takes the “one-on-one” aspect out of learning. Although it was a necessary precaution, because of COVID-19, distance learning has been a difficult change for many to adapt to.

The change was not just difficult for students, but for teachers it was challenging as well. Biology and Zoology teacher Richard Ferro confirmed this statement by stating, “I ask myself, ‘Am I asking too much or asking not enough of the students. I had my own worries about providing adequate lessons. It has taken some time, but I believe the teachers have been given the support needed to provide an adequate learning experience for our students.”

Teachers have adapted phenomenally to the change in how school is conducted. Although, some may ask themselves, “What is it like going from a class of smiling faces to a virtual grid of blank, silent screens?,” psychology teacher, Courtney Bova, states, “I found it to be really challenging at first, but eventually I tried to embrace it and make the best of it.”

Throughout the past year teachers have been extremely understanding of the precautions that need to be made to create a COVID-19 friendly and safe environment for everyone. They have adapted and made the best out of the worst, despite the challenging circumstances teachers and students are facing daily, as everything is taken one day at a time.