Teaching during the Pandemic

The Peninsula Pulse has dedicated a page in each issue from April 24 – May 22 for the students of each Door County high school. This week we feature the work of Southern Door student writers.

by Stephany Massart, Sophomore

Students aren’t the only ones in school settings who have been forced to adapt to a new reality. Educating students virtually has proven to engender its own distinct challenges. The teachers at Southern Door High School were quick to offer their insights through a poll at the school that was carried out a few weeks ago.

“It’s difficult to achieve a balance, I think, between keeping school and work ‘normal’ and slowing things down so that everyone is doing fine,” said Mrs. Huntley, an English teacher.

Ms. Glowacki, an agricultural teacher, said she’s been able to connect with students in a different way. 

“I have a videoconference with some of our Connect Fridays to see how they are doing and help them through some of their challenges,” she said. “It has been difficult creating content that is meaningful.”

Ms. Files, instrumental music director, said it’s difficult teaching music online.

“It’s hard when my students talk about or write about how much they’re struggling with online learning, and how much they miss being in school,” Files said. “It’s just hard.” 

Although some students are engaging more than others in online learning, the teachers miss all of their students equally. Teachers are connecting with students using Google Hangouts, Google Classroom, emails and phone calls. In addition to being concerned about learning, some teachers report that they’re struggling with this major change just as much as their students.

Mrs. Cherney, a special-education teacher, said the pandemic draws parallels to other times of tragedy when students had to maintain their participation in school.

“I fill with fear, and then I fill with confidence that this will pass, and appreciation for all the people fighting this virus on the front lines,” she said. “The only event I have experienced that is somewhat comparable is the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I was in third grade; therefore, I did not understand the trauma, fear and devastation it caused. I often wonder if how I am feeling now during this COVID-19 crisis was how adults felt during 9/11.”