With hybrid, virtual schedules, students should appreciate educators’ efforts to adapt to new teaching methods

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Chenyao Liu

       A few weeks before the end of the first semester, I was getting ready to do a debate in AP European History when the class got off track. I’m still not sure how we got into the topic, but the next thing I knew my teacher was telling the class about the ‘hate mail’ she gets from some of her virtual students. 

       While the term was used as a joke, she actually received multiple emails from students complaining about a slow response to questions or strict rules for test-taking. Even though this school year has been hard for students, we should acknowledge that it has also been difficult for our teachers. 

        Virtual learning days were hard for me to get used to. I would get annoyed when I got to my computer and the lesson plans hadn’t been updated yet. It was easy to forget that while I was sitting at home, my teachers were still in school teaching the other cohort. 

    Most of my teachers have hybrid and virtual students, meaning they have to prepare alternate lesson plans and adjust to teaching in many different ways. They’ve been incredible at handling the multitude of changes, which include less face-to-face time with students and smaller classroom sizes. I heard stories about how in non-pandemic years, my history teacher would have her class play games to help build the classroom environment. Even though we haven’t been able to get physically close to each other, she made sure that we had fun by creating FlipGrid challenges where we submitted jokes or our favorite Disney movies. 

     It’s easy to get frustrated when teachers don’t respond to emails immediately or grade assignments as fast as we want them to. I know I’ve frantically checked PowerSchool to see if my test scores have been updated. Still, we should appreciate the work our teachers have put into helping us. My AP European History teacher does daily Zoom calls with her virtual students. Another one of my teachers has a discussion board open on Canvas where anyone can ask questions. My math teacher even took a seminar over summer break to learn more about online learning and virtual platforms.

     The next time you meet with your teachers, try to think about the time and effort put into each lesson. You don’t have to wait until Teacher Appreciation Week to show how much you care about your teachers. You can write a card, draw a note or even have a short conversation. And the next time you get frustrated at a strict rule or late response, remember that our teachers are just like us, doing the best they can in a difficult situation.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Chenyao Liu at [email protected] Read more of her works here. Read some of the HiLite’s past issues here.

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