How Teachers Feel About Virtual School


Madeline Kwan, Co-Editor-in-Chief

These past few months, teachers have learned a whole new way of teaching. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, teachers have had to adjust their curriculum and teaching styles and adapt to continuously changing situations. Between virtual school and physical school, teachers do their best to ensure all their students succeed.

There are many challenges to teaching through online school, but these new experiences have also enabled teachers to grow.

One example that Mrs. Timothy, a history teacher, and Mr. Lebras, a Latin teacher, mention is technology. Mrs. Timothy explains how she “may look like a tech guru, but anyone who has had [her] in class knows that [she gets] lost pretty easily.” Classroom functions no longer involve just being present in the room. Teachers have enhanced their knowledge of technology to overcome the obstacles of teaching through Zoom.

Mr. Lebras explains how he now has “a little more experience” with online teaching. His colleagues assist him when needed, and Mr. Lebras “learned a few do’s and don’ts.”

Due to the challenges of school this year, Mrs. Timothy has realized that “more than ever, we have to all have a ‘roll with it’ attitude.”

As a chemistry teacher, Ms. Beeman acknowledges that some challenges this year involve conducting labs. In the classroom, labs are done individually this year because lab equipment cannot be shared between partners; however, students are still able to ask each other questions. In addition, everything regarding “how lab equipment is distributed and collected and cleaned” has now been changed; each student is allocated their own glassware and chemicals. 

Despite these new challenges, most teachers prefer physical school over online school. 

Mrs. Timothy, along with other teachers, would “rather be face to face with [her] students.” Many English and history classes are centered around Harknesses, which are classroom discussions. These can be difficult through Zoom because some students feel the conversation flow is hindered when they are not face-to-face. Mrs. Timothy feels that “it’s difficult for advanced topics to transfer online.”

Ms. Beeman’s enthusiasm is tangible when she revealed that she “[wanted] to see [her] students!” Her biggest challenge with online teaching is the difficulty in getting to know about each of her students. 

Despite the challenges of having to teach students through physical and virtual school, Mr. Lebras promises that “whatever the situation, … [he] will do [his] best.” This year will be a success because “we – students, teachers, parents, – are in this together. Whether in person or virtual, we will accept the challenge.”

Likewise, Ms. Beeman explains how she wishes for the faculty and students to remain safe this year, and that the ODA administration has devoted many resources to ensure the safety of the community.

Overall, teachers like Ms. Beeman and Mrs. Timothy look forward to when school activities eventually get back to normal. 

Ms. Beeman also hopes that “whether doing school in-person or virtual, … students can get back into the routine of being a student. Going to classes, hanging out with friends, doing clubs or sports.”

However, she also recognizes that “nothing about this year is…normal. So wherever we can find familiarity, we need to grab on to it.”