Online Teaching: A Student’s Perspective

Marissa Walsh, Paw Print Co Editor in Chief

Online learning is a whole new world for students, teachers, parents, and staff. Whether you are teaching or learning, looking at a screen for seven hours is no easy task. Being at home makes this all the more difficult.

When doing school for your bedroom, many things can distract you. Your phone is right on-hand, your bed seems to be calling your name, and your cat decides to bang her head on the door to get your attention. The distractions are endless, and students’ attention spans cannot always handle this. Keeping students focused and engaged in class seems to be a difficult task for teachers, now more than ever.

As an online student in 2021, some of the scariest phrases that I hear these days are, “Turn your cameras on,” or “We’re going to have a class discussion.” Back in normal times, I was not afraid to raise my hand, or give an answer in class during a discussion. I very much enjoy talking with my teachers and peers, but something about hitting the unmute button, and knowing someone could talk over you at any moment is a scary feeling. 

I feel as though I do my best work independently, or with small groups, as many of my teachers practice. In lots of my classes, I work with my friends on a separate call, or text with them to get work done, which I enjoy. When I look back on the days of online school, I will remember mourning my senior year, but more than that, I will remember the “Warm and Fuzzies” spirit-lifting activity we did in Orchestra class, or the Editor’s breakout room conversations in Journalism.

Students appreciate all of the work that teachers do, especially during this hard time. As a hopeful future teacher myself, I plan to do all that I can to keep students engaged, as I know my teachers are doing. Overall, I feel as though the best teaching style possible is giving students a break every now and then, throwing in some fun activities, and keeping the love of learning alive.