Through the Eyes of Our Teachers
Updated: Jan 6
The onset of the pandemic forced students out of classrooms in the interest of safety, and many CVCHS staff were sent home as well. Nonetheless, teachers were obliged to bridge the gap between campus and conceptual understanding.
Several teachers were surveyed on their ongoing response to distance learning.
"Work-life balance does not exist in teaching, either remote or in-person," said Karin Westbrook, an English teacher, but "I want to look ahead to when I can have kids in their seats."
Many teachers stressed the difficult dynamics associated with adapting curriculum to digital form. Some teachers noted that they needed to cut some topics and prioritize others, meanwhile students are struggling in Zoom classrooms.
"When teaching through a computer screen, I sadly can never 100% sure if students are really understanding what I'm teaching," said Martin Fong, a math teacher.
Other responses from the survey concerning the positives of distance learning include being able to check for understanding more creatively and frequently than in a normal school year.
Schoology, staff generally agreed, enabled them to organize their assignments such that students can easily see what is due and what is missing. Some teachers also commented on
how they will continue to make video lessons even upon return to in-person learning.
"I have been mostly teaching from on-campus because it's a better work environment for me and I can bike to work and back to get exercise," explained Ben Friedman, a science teacher. "I have been fortunate. However, I know that student learning outcomes are not as good this year, so I feel bad about that.”
Jenna Ebert, a yoga teacher, commiserated, finding that "teaching from home is less personal in my experience." She feels more engaged with "a room of students, the music, and the conversations that we have.”
Staff were surveyed about their sentiments, yet there was perpetual sympathy for students in responses. Jenny Kadavy, an English teacher, agreed that "I wish I could work with students in the classroom and see them enjoy normal high school experiences."
"We are all in this together," said Ebert. "No one has gone unaffected in some way, and the best thing we can do is be kind to each other, and support as we navigate these strange times.”