From the classroom to Zoom: how teachers are adjusting to online learning

Naia Willemsen, Spotlight Editor

Awkward breakout rooms, the struggles of eight classes in one day, the stress of trying to figure out Canvas—online school has brought its share of difficulties for students. But oftentimes, teachers experience even more challenges than students.

Teachers who have been teaching for, in some cases, upwards of twenty years in a classroom have suddenly transitioned to managing zoom calls, navigating canvas, and meeting students for the first time across a screen.

“The hardest part about transitioning to online learning is the vast amount of new technology I had to learn in a short time,” math teacher Sherry Leake said. “I spent most of my summer break learning since the district held several courses to help teachers navigate Canvas.”

For classes with normally hands-on components—like lab sciences or CTE courses—there’s even more adaptation required.

“For me, I have a lot of classes that have labs which can’t be done at home, so I have to spend a lot of time planning and filming myself doing the labs for my classes,”  CTE teacher Michael Aylesworth said.

But over time, teachers and students have adapted. Despite the challenges of teaching via zoom, they’ve come to appreciate the benefits of staying home.

“It’s great how the attendance for the Zooms has been consistently good. It’s also been awesome to watch my kid’s 5th-grade class, as she is rocking it and the teacher is doing great as well,” social studies teacher Ross Matheny said. “More time with her, at this age, has been pretty special.“