By Osvaldo Medina 21′
The fall season means two things Halloween and school. One of those won’t be the same this year, unlike other years. Halloween will not be the same this year as other years. Joking aside, the beginning of a new school year during a pandemic is going to take some adjusting for teachers and students. And adjustments come with challenges that mainly teachers have to deal with. What are some of those struggles? How do teachers overcome them?
For Philip Stosberg, senior Russian teacher, it would be the “physical aspect of teaching”. This refers to walking around and being next to the students. He goes on to say a lack of physical teaching makes “[it] hard to establish a real connection.” However, Stosberg finds it good that students have access to this type of technology because it will prepare students for college. To elaborate, the amount of time that students have outside of class during this pandemic is equivalent to life in college . Furthermore, it teaches independence and asking for help when needed. As for any stress that has come with e-learning, Stosberg associates it with “screen fatigue.” So to accommodate this he goes “on walks after a day of teaching and sitting on [his] desk to get vitamin D.” Lastly, Stosberg summarizes e-learning as a “psychological experiment that no one signed up for.”
Similarly, Charles Rosentel, World History teacher for college prep and AP, finds it difficult and misguided to recreate “the physical classroom online.” Rosentel has taken advantage of the breakout function in Zoom and keeps students in the same group to get comfortable. The purpose of this is to keep students engaged and possibly turn on their cameras. This is similar to Stosberg’s opinion about students and turning on their cameras. Stosberg explained “[Students] need a reason to turn on their cameras,” that reason being “interesting” topics that engage the student. The example Stosberg used was in his IB class where they discussed discrimination towards the LGBTQ community in Russia. As for methods of relaxation, Rosentel explained that he has been going on walks with his daughter, reading, watching movies/tv, and discussing with his wife or Stosberg.
An area of topic where Stosberg and Rosentel contrast in ideals is rewards for turning on cameras. Rosentel doesn’t reward students through merits like Stosberg rather Rosentel rewards students for their work. The reason being Rosentel does not want to “turn intrinsic motivation extrinsic.”
As for the student side of e-learning Argenis Salgado, IB senior and Editor-in-Chief, has been struggling to adjust to the new learning environment. Salgado goes to explain the comfort of his own home has been causing a lack of motivation. The reason being he isn’t “held to the same expectation as the school.” Furthermore, the fact that there is a lack of punishment for late work has caused Salgado to be more “diligent with [his] work.” To elaborate, he puts more effort and time into his work to improve the quality because he is in the comfort of his home.