Dog with a. . . Zoom?

Ella Williamson, Staff Writer

“Are there any questions?” asks the teacher. A few seconds go by. Then someone types, “Can we see your dog?” into the chat. 

 Until this year, students have almost never had the chance to get to know their teachers’ pets, unless they were looking at pictures of math teacher Sherry Leake’s horse or listening to adorable stories about English teacher Kris Daughters’ dog, Chloe. Now, with digital learning, seeing the pets of students and teachers alike during online school has become increasingly common…and we’re not complaining.

It seems like nearly every day, a dog, cat, or anything in between is spotted on Zoom, whether they’re barking up a storm in the background, laying on a bed, or making an unexpected cameo for the class to see. For the classes where most students have their cameras on, spotting hidden critters can be a fun game, especially when it’s first period and you’re trying your best not to zone out. However, that raises an important question: are pets online too distracting?

Like anything else, pets can potentially become a distraction for students or a hindrance when teachers are trying to teach. They direct the class’s attention away from the speaker and to the furry friends now occupying the screen. It’s already difficult not to let your focus slip when you’ve been staring at a screen for hours on end, so do pets draw a little too much focus? 

The short answer is no. Just like everything else, the Liberty community has had to adapt to new surroundings, including the daily distractions of our own homes. Listening to neighbors mow the lawn or to your mom talking to your grandma for the entirety of second period trumps the distraction of pets any day. If anything, getting to interact with my own pets during school and seeing other peoples pets lifts my spirits and helps me see an upside to online learning. 

Plus, pets are one small way that we get to know each other better, keeping the Liberty community connected by reminding us that our teachers and classmates are people too.