Students of all grade levels are logging into Google Meet and doing classwork and homework from their bedrooms. However, they aren’t the only ones venturing into unknown territory. Teachers also have to deal with the new schedule, and are pressured to fit copious amounts of information into their lessons over video chat. Such a task is made harder by their work environment, as most teachers are working outside the comfort of their classrooms.
“There have been so many various challenges adjusting to teaching entirely online,” stated Gregory Mushro, a social studies teacher at Ellicott Mills Middle School. “Sometimes it is connectivity issues… Sometimes the problem is with the hardware of microphones or cameras not working correctly.”
But moving online has also had its advantages for Mushro. “Personally, the most significant advantage is being able to work closely with my team at school and across the county,” he explained.
Similarly, the online setting allows for faster and easier communication with students, providing an advantage to some teachers.
“I give much more feedback because I can type it online,” stated Jessica Landi, who teaches Humanities III and GT US History at Centennial. As long as there aren’t technical difficulties, the internet can help, and in some ways, speed up the process.
Despite these benefits, the shortened class times and semester schedule have teachers struggling to fit in all of the necessary information. Many teachers are working through the course material at a faster pace than they have in the past.
“I had to cut out a lot of student interaction and enrichment [activities] to move as fast as possible,” said Landi.
Other teachers have been experiencing similar problems with time management and have been forced to cut out parts of their lessons. This new method of learning is all-around unfamiliar, but teachers are trying their best to continue to educate their students. Covid-19 has thrown new obstacles at everyone, and Howard County teachers are working hard to prevail through these trying times.
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