COVID from the Teacher’s View


Ava Padelford, Lead Writer

The pressure on teachers in school is high due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The format is completely different and it’s nothing like it has ever been before. Each teacher is handling this new way of teaching differently, and some teachers have even quit or retired early due to this new environment. 


Although this new system is different and challenging, most teachers are still hopeful. They are finding new ways to engage the students and keep them motivated. This year is a learning experience for teachers and students, and the school is doing everything they can to make it as normal as possible. 


Each teacher has different plans for their classes. What they wished they could do for each lesson has been altered due to the current situation. There are issues with different policies that are still being worked around. No system is perfect, and no system is expected to be perfect. 


Teachers and students can relate in the stress they are facing along with more positive feelings. This year hasn’t been easy, but as it goes on, it seems to be getting better. Despite the fact that several hundred students are learning virtually with added virtual students daily due to quarantining, teachers are able to see and communicate with students much better. An important part of teaching is the relationships they have with their students. 


“When we are able to greet students at the door and talk with them in person it helps create that special bond,” stated Mrs. Bondi, an ELA teacher at Mountain Ridge. 


The simple act of welcoming students into class can brighten their day, and create these relationships. Teaching students in the classroom is much preferred over teaching students on zoom. It gives the deeper connection with the students as well as the ability to help them one on one in an easier setting. 


With each subject comes different challenges in teaching virtually or in person. Systematics and power training is a lot different, for example, than chemistry and history. Although every class requires students to put in their effort to do well in the class, physics students can do problems online or in the classroom. Other classes, like power training or anatomy (to name a few), rely on equipment and labs to carry out their instruction. Furthermore, keeping students engaged and motivated was a challenge, but with the creative minds of the teachers at Ridge, they made it possible. 


“…I tried to keep it engaging (e.g. lively music as students entered Zoom, student breakout groups to discuss, Random Name Generator to share out, etc.), but really missed teaching with students in the room,” shared Mrs. Bondi. 


The new way of teaching has different effects on every teacher. Some are handling better than others. There’s no question that this new system is challenging. It’s nothing they’ve experienced before. The new ways have completely changed what this year looks like for everyone. 


“It’s made it more difficult in things we do, such as dressing out, again social distancing and what we can do in PE, when they aren’t able (yet) to do all the normal things we can do in PE,” said Mr. Marcus, a Systematics 1-2, Lifetime Sports, and Power Training teacher.


Each teacher has put in a lot of hard work and dedication to making this year as normal as possible for their students, and helping them in every way possible. Many students don’t realize how much the teachers do for us and it’s important to acknowledge this. 


Being online and being in person are two completely different situations. With each comes problems that were difficult to solve, but with months of planning, the layout was very smooth. Being online comes with the problems of dealing with students with no motivation to do work, constant internet problems, figuring out how to teach through a screen, and many others. The in person problems include the effects social distancing and being sanitary has on the rest of the school.


The district isn’t perfect, and there are policies the teachers would change to better their classroom and their students. There’s not much they can do about this. The policies were created by the district with the help of parents to ensure their child is safe at school. Though teachers can’t necessarily change the policies, there are still ways they would alter if given the choice. For example, the two week policy doesn’t exactly flow for some of the teachers at Ridge. 


“I feel it is doing a disservice to students because we build on previous content, and if students continue a cycle of doing assignments late they are not able to comprehend new lessons. We also need to reinforce responsibility at every level to prepare students for success in high school and beyond,” added Mrs. Bondi. 


There are highs and lows when dealing with this new way of living. The world is different now, and it’s up to us to accept this difference and live our lives to the fullest regardless of what happens in the world. We can still be safe and have a great time all together. 


Remembering that teachers also have struggles they deal with and problems they are solving is so important to remember. Students may get impatient with their teachers without facing the reality that their teachers are as stressed out as they are. Luckily, Ridge has a great staff in which most are willing to take a stand to help the students be successful and grow as individuals.