Heading back to school can be a challenge for many students, but what students might fail to realize is that teachers find heading back to school can be stressful, challenging and even exhausting at times.
However, due to COVID-19 guidelines, going back to school has been less than traditional. Teachers at Bishop Miege High School have found this transition to be different from their old styles of teaching.
Science teacher Scott Anderson said that it’s becoming increasingly harder to detect emotions because of the masks the students wear.
“I miss being able to see a simple smile from my students.” Anderson said. “My style of teaching has always been interacting with my students and gauging their moods based off of their facial expressions, and now I’ve lost that.”
According to Anderson, reading emotions over Zoom is a daunting task each day.
“The kids over Zoom stare blankly at me, and sometimes I wonder if they actually understand me or if they’re ready for class to be over,” Anderson said.
English teacher Hilary Wingate said that the hardest part of the transition from all online to hybrid has been figuring out how to compromise and how to include all of her students.
“It’s a difficult thing really deciding how to teach the same thing but differently,” Wingate said. “What’s good for the kids at home and what’s good for the kids on Zoom?”
However, what Wingate said she misses most about her former way of teaching was being able to switch up her class plans for the day.
“I think what I miss the most is doing things spontaneously,” said Wingate. “I miss being able to say ‘Let’s change it up.’ Now I can’t change something without having to account for about ten other things.”
Social Studies department chair James Wilcox said he tries to maintain normalcy the best he can, especially with students over Zoom.
“I act like the students online are still in school. I expect them to read and participate just the same,” said Wilcox. “I make sure to say hello, and make sure they know I haven’t forgotten about them.”
Wilcox said he misses the configuration of his classroom and does not like being six feet apart from everyone at all times.
“I miss having everyone in class, and I miss being able to walk around,” Wilcox said. “The arrangement is annoying.”
COVID-19 has been a topic of conversation for many months and has taken a toll on most everyone, including teachers.
“We’re trying the best we can, and we want this year to happen just as much as the students,” Wingate said.