Online Learning: The sound of silence

Online Learning: The sound of silence

Hannah Ortiz

Online learning has put everyone in a difficult position. Between the online problems and uncooperativeness, it has added stress and subtracted the inspiration. Both teachers and students have dealt with it in their own way. Some students just give up on the work, while teachers add on to the work. 

While many students are finding it difficult to find the motivation to do their assignments, teachers are finding it difficult to receive those completed assignments. Every teacher out there has had to adjust to online school just like the students have. Although it is easy to put the blame on them, the only real thing to blame is COVID. Teachers are doing their best, trying to get their lesson across, and hoping the students are understanding the information. English teacher, John Gurbisz, feels the effects of online learning. 

“It takes me a good two or three hours to post every single day for all of my classes. There is a lot of work that goes into it that people are not seeing behind the scenes,” Gurbisz said. “Then to get on a zoom call and have nobody turn on their camera or you’re basically begging people to participate; it gets kind of difficult at that point, and it shoots down your own motivation.”

When teaching it is generally preferred to see the student during the lesson; no teacher likes to see black screens and muted buttons. It is understandable that everyone is in the comfort of their own home and no one really wants to show their messy hair or crazy pajamas, but no one wants to feel like they are not being heard. Most teachers face their classes without even knowing how some of the students look like. Participation is also an issue because a student might not be prepared to answer something and are put on the spot; so they either stay muted or type in the chat. 

“Sometimes you just have to try to motivate yourself as a teacher, and remind yourself that silence doesn’t mean they’re not learning, it just might mean that nobody is prepared to speak at that very moment,” Gurbisz said. 

School is the place where there is the mutual want and need to be there. Not being in person is affecting that want and that need. While many are keeping up with the work and are trying their best with the given directions, at times it can get hard to figure out what the teacher wants, when all they want is to know if you’re learning or retaining any information. 

  “We can do all these technological things, we can show videos, we can have the students post on schoology on a live feed, but I can’t walk around and see that everyone is doing it. The major difference between online and in person is that I can look the students in the eyes and see if they’re with me and comprehend what I’m teaching them,” Gurbisz said.

In person and online learning differ in many ways. When a student is sitting at a desk listening to the teacher, it is obviously way more interactive than online, and sometimes that activity is necessary with teaching. Christopher Pruden, physical education teacher, is not a fan of remote learning. 

“The main difference between remote and in-person is checking for understanding during task completion. In school, teachers can help immediately. Remotely, we must wait for submissions and delayed responses,” Pruden said. 

Our COVID situation has put teachers and students to work all kinds of hours. While teachers continuously wait for the work to be completed, students are trying to escape the hole that is online learning. One can only have so much patience and one can only have so much motivation. The only way to help both is if there is a change in the time management and work ethic.