Teachers and the Struggle of Online School

From hands-on to online learning, both teachers and students adjust to a new way of learning and teaching.

Ms. Watson readjusts to working in-person after a tumultuous year of online school.

Ms. Watson readjusts to working in-person after a tumultuous year of online school.

Kristina Heller and Grace Coleman

When Covid hit, students across the globe had to transition to online school. Many struggled with the transition; others found hidden benefits. However, students weren’t the only people affected when everything went online; teachers also felt the impact from the shift into the virtual world.

Mrs. Destafano, a math teacher at Broomfield High School, said, “Online school definitely wasn’t my favorite; I thought it created a lot of new obstacles and it was definitely more difficult to get to know my kids really well.” Being online made it harder for teachers and students to have a connection.

She said that most of her students were receiving passing grades, but that online school “made it a little bit harder to know if they actually grasped [the content].” Students could be cheating and not really learning the material she gave them.

Ms. Watson, who teaches US History, Psychology, and Sociology, had her own unique experiences when teaching online school: “It was really difficult trying to accommodate for everybody,” she said. She said that transitioning from in-person school to online school was really difficult.

Ms. Watson also said that 90 to 95% of her kids had passing grades; however, defining “passing” this year was harder because teachers had to speed up the material and teach it slightly differently than they would in a normal year.

Mr. Mickens is the Drawing and Painting, as well as the Digital Art and Animation teacher. He said, “All of it was kind of tricky but not as tricky for me because I set up my classes almost the same way that I normally teach.” Mr. Mickens had some experience in the past with technology so he was able to transition easier than some other teachers who may have had less technological experience. He said that about 4% of his students fail his class in a normal year and online, and that rate stayed pretty consistent, even in the online world.

Similar to the teachers’ opinions, many students preferred in-person school over online. However, some of them thought that there were both positive and negative aspects of online school.

While a lot of kids were still passing their classes, some teachers found it to be more of a challenge to create the most effective learning environment.