Virtual Learning: From a Teacher’s Perspective

Eliya Craig, Senior Contributor

Founded in 1922, Bishop Guilfoyle has come a long way from where it began. Recently, unprecedented times have forced BG to evolve in order to safely remain open. While evident physical modifications have been made, such as enforcing social distancing, the use of masks, and sanitation techniques, other changes have been made as well. Teachers and faculty have been training to use virtual platforms in the case that they would need to be prepared for a virtual shutdown. BG English teacher, Chris Brown, feels that over the last few years, our school has taken a lot of steps to incorporate virtual learning into our curriculum. Brown says, “Virtual learning allows education to be more individualized.” Brown says he plans to utilize virtual learning opportunities to work one on one with his students, rather than simply lecturing ‘at’ them. He understands that virtual conferences make it hard for a student to pay attention during lectures, so he plans to make his classes more engaging. Although he believes that virtual education has a lot of plus sides, he also feels that it is not the same as being in the classroom. A teacher cannot just switch what they are doing face to face in the classroom to an online conference, and therefore feels that in the future, schools could never go completely virtual. “Being in person is too important,” says Brown. “Virtual aspects will be a big part of education from now on, but no district will be able to eliminate being in person altogether.” Working face to face is a valuable thing, and Brown is hopeful that he will be able to continue to work with his students in person.

Likewise, math teacher Mrs. Provenzano says she feels very prepared to go virtual- more so this year than last year, as the teacher’s have been training and holding inservices. “Any times that students have a day off, we teachers are meeting to discuss anything that would help students to learn better.” Provenzano also feels that the benefits of learning virtually are great, but there is no replacement for learning face to face. “Virtual has to be a last resort because there is no interaction with other students. When you are virtual, you are in isolation, and don’t have the interaction with your peers that you would in the classroom.” Whether it’s student to student, peer tutoring, or working in groups, Provenzano believes that these are necessary elements of a classroom, and hopes to bring the same atmosphere to her virtual classes as well.