“A teacher’s job has always been complex,” said Sarah Brown Wessling, the 2010 National Teacher of the Year. 10 years later this statement still holds value, especially in 2020. It’s an uncommon year for everyone, but specifically for teachers who’ve had to change their entire way of teaching.
As many schools around the nations are opting for virtual learning, teachers are playing catch up and reworking all of their lesson plans. Most teachers were not trained for online classes, so for many, it’s uncharted territory. Teachers are learning as they go, and trying to make an impossible situation possible.
Online learning has been a struggle for teachers as well as kids. The challenges that teachers are facing vary with students’ age groups. Elementary teachers are having to teach their students how to open simple programs on their computers, knowing that they can’t rely on parents who also have full time jobs.
Which means that these teachers are doing double the work. Having to teach children how to use a computer and then on top of that the lesson plans itself. That takes time and ultimately sets back the lesson plans, and the timeline of completing assignments.
On the other hand, high school teachers are faced with different struggles. Many high school students are constantly being distracted with learning from home, and feel like they do not have to work as hard as they would in school because there is less accountability. Not being able to make eye contact with a student to see if they are dozing off or stuck on a problem, creates the feeling of uneasiness.
Teachers are in the dark with no way of knowing if the students actually understand the material being thrown at them. Additionally, many teachers used their personality and being goofy to make students more engaged. Now that learning is virtual, it’s much harder to engage and keep the students entertained. It is also harder to check in on students. There are no one-on-one conversations with the students, to keep them on track. Without those, ultimately some kids are left behind, and no teacher wants that.
Even though online learning has made engaging students more difficult, that doesn’t mean the teachers haven’t been creative in the “classroom”. Many teachers are aware that students are extremely involved with social media, and using social media could get their attention. One art teacher made her students tutorials on how to draw particular scenes or objects. The teacher informed the students if they take a picture of their artwork after watching the tutorials, and send it to her she would share it on her social media. The children got really excited, and before she knew it, she was getting tons of artwork coming her way. This is just one example of how an educator turned a negative into a positive.
While there are challenges across the board for educators, they are still trying their best, because at the end of the day they care about the students they have. They wouldn’t be in this field if they didn’t. While educators are coming up with innovative ways to teach this year, it doesn’t mean that they don’t need help.
Here are a few resources that can help children and teachers while learning at home:
At Home Learning
Lulu Junior Resources
Celebrate World Teachers’ Day
If we are being real, teachers are doing what they have always done. They take what’s handed to them, and make sure that the children are getting the best education. Teachers will do whatever they need to do, to make sure that students are getting what they need because education is a fundamental right. Today is a special day because it’s World Teachers’ Day.
So give a shout out to any teacher you know, or previously had. They deserve all the appreciation that is thrown at them. Because in a world of uneasiness, they have remained strong, and put their students above themselves. So a big thanks to all the teachers around the world. You are noticed, you are appreciated. Thank you for doing all you can to consistently teach the children that will one day be the future.