How Teachers Adapted to the Struggles of Teaching Online


Credit to Anna Hollinger

By Chase Pray


Wearing masks, seating charts at lunch, and taking classes from home is the new normal this school year. Online school was very hectic and stressful when it began this past March. This school year, some teachers are even doing a mix of online and in person teaching. Many teachers have to educate themselves about how to effectively teach via a computer because it’s not as simple as just changing your platform.

 “It was wicked hard changing to virtual last year but I felt good about the relationships and trust I had with my students. This year it’s more difficult because these are new students and the relationships aren’t built up yet,” FHN German teacher Anne McPartland said.

Every teacher is feeling the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, not just the FHN teachers. Jessica Ferri, an 8th grade ELA teacher at Barnwell Middle School, is also feeling the stress of the changes caused by the pandemic. With 4 out of 7 of her classes virtual Ferri definitely knows the challenge of teaching both virtual (and in-person) school.

“One teacher from each subject had to volunteer to do it online and I just volunteered. All us teachers are just trying to serve the kids as well as we can. We just want to make their life as easy as we can in these rough times,” Ferri said.

  Even though McPartland has taught for 20 years and Ferri has taught for 11 years nobody could have anticipated the challenge of teaching in such a new way. Both are learning new tricks and changing expectations as they go. Ferri highlighted the challenges of virtual teaching but did say it is helping her by challenging her and making her think. McPartland shared that the excitement of the kids is still as noticeable even though they are learning from their homes.       

  The stress of grading hasn’t got any easier with the move to online school. With technology being a pain at times it’s been a task to get help for any questions a student might have. Teachers can keep papers in a stack while in person but when it comes to online teaching they are forced to open everyone’s work individually. This can become a hassle as teachers are forced to spend more time grading than teaching. Between teaching and grading this year sure has been a hassle.    

   “I just hope our students wear their masks so we can get by this whole ordeal without any of us getting sick,” Ferri said. ”That would be the best case scenario.”