Martha Abraham | Reporter
As Avon continues in-person instruction, changes have been made to ensure a safe experience for everyone in the school. Some of AHS’s teachers have had to adjust to a new experience: teaching both virtually and in the classroom.
English teacher Linda Langford tries to replicate the same experience featured in the classroom into her virtual teaching.
“We usually zoom for the first thirty to forty minutes, and then I stay online, and students can leave, but if they have a question, they can pop back in,” Langford said. “I try to simulate the same experience as if you were sitting here and working and you came up and asked a question.”
Langford said she makes it clear to her students what time they are meeting and what they are doing.
“Every Sunday evening, I pin up on my Schoology page exactly what we’re doing for the week and exactly what time we’re zooming because sometimes our schedule here [in school] changes as well,” Langford said.
Chemistry teacher Katie Kozinski said she has had to modify some of the labs they do in-person since she teaches from behind a screen.
“I try to give them virtual labs, which is not always the same, but you’ll get the same experience,” Kozinski said.
Virtual learning has made it harder to deal with student behavior for chemistry teacher Lisa Kern.
“I often use the chat to take attendance, so I’ll say, give me the answer to this question, and they’ll put the answer in the chat and then I’ll get things like, ‘Hey how’s it going buddy,’ talking to each other,” Kern said.
Kern said it’s also harder to be able to help students out and see how they are doing.
“It’s easy for kids to slip through the cracks, the kid just doesn’t show for multiple days to zoom session,” Kern said. “It’s hard for me to do anything about it. It’s also really easy to say, oh no, I don’t have any questions.”
Kozinski said it’s harder to connect and engage with students while teaching virtually vs teaching in the classroom.
“It is what you make of it,” Kozinski said. “If a student is turning on their camera and turning on their audio, then the engagement piece is not as terrible, but I can’t force the students to turn on their camera and audio.”
This also happens to be most of the e-learners’ first times learning fully online, which can been a struggle for them, Kozinski said.
“My first test was really poor, and kids did really poorly on it. But once they got to the second test, they all did really well,” Kozinski said. “I think they all just learned what they had to do to be successful online, which is brand new to them and brand new to me, that was nice to see it and see an improvement.”
Overall, teachers at AHS want to make this experience as successful as it can be for students.
“It’s a situation, it’s not anyone’s fault, and those students chose [e-learning], so we try to do it,” Langford said.