Teachers speak out about online learning

Story by Blaine Dunstan, Reporter

Due to Covid-19, all teachers have been expanding their classrooms to make room for online learners. Along with having to make changes in their curriculum and their plans to teach the material, teachers will be given less time to prepare for the upcoming spring semester than they had to start the year. 

According to forensics coach Julie Laflen, being able to adapt to the new style of forensics tournaments and being able to be flexible for her other classes is going to be the focal point of the new year.

“As long as I have a plan of what I want to have happened, that usually works best for me. I know what the students need to know and what I want to teach, it’s just finding different ways to make that happen and being flexible,” Laflen said. “ All of this is a learning curve for teachers, especially when I’m not sure what our competitions will look like.”

Theatre teacher Jason Huffman said he isn’t worried about receiving less preparation time for the upcoming semester, but more focused on trying to perfect the way he is teaching unfamiliar classes. 

Huffman said, “The biggest challenge I’ve had is with the online learners, keeping them engaged and being able to gage their responses is difficult when they turn their cameras off and don’t respond,” Huffman said. “Sometimes you will call on them directly and they won’t answer so you don’t know if they turned their camera off and just walked away.”

FACS teacher Krystal Henderson shares the same feelings towards having less time to prepare for the spring semester. For her, becoming more comfortable with canvas and getting feedback from her students is more important.

“Now having used Canvas for an entire semester, I feel more confident in my ability to prepare for the spring,” Henderson said. “I plan to take responses that I have heard or seen from students from this semester and utilize them next semester.”