How Freshman Teachers Feel About Virtual Learning


  “Freshman are always super eager to learn, so in a sense teaching them online is a little easier than teaching upperclassmen. But, I’m concerned that I won’t be able to get to know the students on a personal level or build a rapport with them online. I’m also concerned as to whether I can teach effectively and get my point across. However, teaching online does allow for some new strategies and methods that are hard to do in person, so I’m excited to try those out.” -Mrs. Chaiken, AICE Geography

   “I feel pretty good about teaching online. Last spring, during the 4th quarter, I taught freshmen and sophomores virtually just as I am doing this year, so I have experience teaching this age demographic online. Also, all 9th graders were virtual last spring as 8th graders, so this is not unchartered territory for them either. For these reasons, I feel pretty confident that we can be productive virtually. As for things I’m nervous and excited about, this is a bit tougher to put into words. As far as being excited, I suppose I am excited to apply a different approach to my daily instruction. By that I mean, when we are virtual, it is easier for me to take a ‘less is more’ approach. To explain, when we are in a physical classroom, I have to be cognizant of certain class management realities which affect my lesson planning and delivery of instruction. While we are virtual, most of those classroom management realities are non-existent. This allows me to focus almost 100% on just the quality of lesson/activity. That has been nice. As for nerves, I am a little nervous when I think of formal assessments. How am I going to keep them secure? How will I make them challenging, fair, and secure?? As I ponder formal assessments, I definitely get a little queasy.” -Mr. Lawrence, AICE General Paper


   “I feel like I am teaching from the other end of the world, inside a cave, underwater. Definitely not the way I like to welcome freshmen to our campus. But, I am trying my best, we all are. From reading hundreds of freshmen introductions, I realized they feel the same way I do. Disconnected and missing the little and the not so little things. These two weeks has made us appreciate what we had even more. I am, honestly, looking forward to the day we are back on campus safely. Nervous? about everything, but just riding the waves, like everyone else.” -Mrs. Ferrer, Spanish 

   “Teaching online is a new learning process and challenge for all of us. Just like most things, it has its ups and downs. It is different but it also forces us to learn new things and use new teaching ideas.I look forward to teaching freshmen this year. I hope they can return soon and get the high school experience. It is always nice to see the freshmen grow and become seniors some day.” -Mrs. Kelley, Algebra 2

   “I’m sure I echo everyone else’s thoughts in that I wish it were safe enough to teach in person right now! While it’s been great to see the new faces of my band program through Zoom, I feel as though there is a personal connection that is missing due to teaching online. Being an elective, making that connection is crucial to giving the freshmen an idea of what their time in band will be like. I know there are probably a few students who ended up dropping band this year because it didn’t ‘feel’ like band, and that’s something I may have been able to prevent had I been able to interact with my classes in a more normal setting!  I’m absolutely nervous about how my program will function day to day! Every single one of my students has an “air cannon,” so to speak, pointed right at me for 5 hours a day, so we’ll have to find ways to make that environment safer not just for me, but for the students as well. I am DEFINITELY looking forward to creating [music] in person though. I think my freshmen classes will be much more excited about our band program once they can play together again as well. There’s just so much we can’t do using the online medium, but we’re working and getting better anyways!” -Mr. Espinosa, Band