With the first semester of distance learning nearly complete, teachers are approaching the next one with new goals in mind.
Over the course of the first semester, teachers adapted and evolved their methods based on what was a good fit for their students and for themselves. They are preparing for the next semester by setting new goals and incorporating new teaching methods to make learning easier.
Kristine Govani, a computer science teacher at Carlmont, expressed her main goals for the semester.
“I’ll be looking for more opportunities to strengthen my curriculum and make it more accessible for my students,” Govani said.
Additionally, teachers have found it difficult to form relationships with students during distance learning.
According to an article from Education Week, strong student-teacher relationships can lead to better grades, consistent attendance, more academic engagement, and lower school dropout rates.
“I don’t feel as connected to my teachers through distance learning,” said Nicole Kopelev, a sophomore at Carlmont. “I feel like it’s a lot easier to create relationships with your teachers in person.”
Teachers are emphasizing teacher-student relationship development as a main goal for next semester.
“I missed a connection to the students,” Govani said. “I’ll continue to look for ways to strengthen and connect the bond.”
In addition to teacher-student relationships, teachers are hoping to find ways to allow students to interact with one another to maintain the social aspects of school.
“As I look at the curriculum, I think, ‘how can I adapt it so that they can interact more?’” Govani said.
Several teachers use different methods of keeping their students socially connected.
“A lot of my teachers will break the class into breakout rooms so that classmates can finish assignments together, ask each other questions, and do projects together,” said Sophia Chao, a sophomore at Carlmont.
Social interactions are a crucial part of learning. According to an article from The Education Hub, learning is psychologically limited by weak social connections.
The first semester of distance learning has prepared teachers for the next one and has served as a guide for the future, but there are still improvements that can be made in the second semester.
“I’m always adapting the curriculum. As we do new things, I’m always trying to think about how I can make it still feel personal,” Govani said.