Opinions of students and teachers at American on the disconnect between teachers and students due to online learning

Chaha Mukherjee

Staff Writer

Lucine Mohakel (11)-

     “The disconnect between teachers and students, I believe, affects both parties. Students have seemed much more tentative and distant towards their teachers, but, at the same time, teachers are also detaching themselves from a personal connection with their many digital students. I think so many students rely on teachers as a support system, but it’s hard for students to connect currently and many don’t have the energy to form a connection in office hours or over email. I’ve noticed even the teachers seem exhausted as they teach a screen full of tired and uninterested students. Spending months barely knowing classmates, students, and teachers may be an issue that we can’t solve even if in-person classes resume this school year.”

Thivya Prabahar (11)-

     “In times like this, it’s very important that students and teachers have a method of communication that is efficient and consistent. Since we cannot meet up with teachers in person due to online learning, it can be frustrating when we need help but cannot get immediate assistance like we would be able to in school. However, I feel that this could be solved if teachers check their emails more regularly and use office hours in a way that allows more students to get one on one help with them.”

Pearl Vishen (11)- 

     “I think what first comes to mind for most people is the academic aspect of the disconnect, but I think we need to pay more attention to the social aspect of it than we already have. Interacting with and forming bonds with teachers and students alike was one of the few things that kept many of us going, but now that’s been stripped away from us. Our classes are (for the most part) reduced to the bare bones of education with very little of the conversational fluff or dry teacher humour that kept the day entertaining. I’d assume that this is an issue for teachers as well; it’s hackneyed to say at this point, but it really is difficult to talk to an unresponsive screen.”

Rachel Kalthof (11)-

     “I feel like one of the most disconnected aspects of distance learning is the inability for teachers to really get to know their students this year. I think it’s kind of sad that teachers aren’t able to do that as well as they could before, and I know lots of teachers miss that. Being unable to establish that kind of bridge makes it more difficult for teachers to reach and engage their students, who are already struggling to feel engaged in distance learning”

Mr. Webb, (English 11 Teacher)-

     “I feel more disconnected from my students due to online learning. It is not the same as meeting new students in a classroom, rather than is a virtual setting. I miss the day-to-day interactions and socializing that can be done in person. Regarding the grading and grades in general, it is harder to grade assignments online versus having an actual paper or printed copy from students. There are more screens and programs to toggle through. I also think that I am not as strict in my grading as I have been in the past. I simply do not have the time and energy to scrutinize assignments like I have in the past. I try to use humor and compassion to make tenuous connections with the students, especially the ones I have never met in person. I also open the classes about five or six minutes early, giving me a chance to chat with students and see how they’re doing. This has helped a bit.”

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