Teachers’ Perspectives on Remote Teaching


image courtesy of ideas.ted.com

Lauren Dumont

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020, we have had to change the way we gather to help limit the spread of the virus. Schools across the world have been largely affected, and as a result, teachers have had to change the way they teach. Many schools are fully remote, while some are hybrid. Teachers have had to reinvent the way they teach and overcome many of the challenges that come with online teaching. 

According to chalkbeat.com, “Two-thirds to three-quarters of teachers said their students were less engaged during remote instruction than before the pandemic, and that engagement declined even further over the course of the semester.” Many teachers have noticed a significant decrease in participation and are struggling to keep their students engaged with material. Students being remote makes it difficult for students to work together and collaborate. 

Many teachers feel teaching online makes their job more difficult. Timberlane trigonometry teacher, Ms. Smith, said, “Finding time to play around with new technology tools and apps like flipgrid, peardeck, and explain everything has definitely been difficult. Trying to find a work-life balance is also something I think every teacher is struggling with, especially those with young children at home. Another large obstacle is student interaction; students are less likely to participate it seems this year and technological difficulties can sometimes be used as a scapegoat.” Teachers are working to overcome the many obstacles that come with online teaching while at the same time trying to find a balance between work and personal life. 

However, there are some positive aspects to online education. As stated by Ms. Smith, “Some advantages include more online resources for students to utilize, reference, and learn from. I like that students and teachers are extremely flexible and understanding this year. People are showing their grit with continuing to learn/teach even in such an unprecedented situation.” While this is a less than ideal circumstance for everyone, looking at the positive is important.

Many teachers are feeling disconnected from their students as a result of online teaching. As Ms. Smith said, “Absolutely there is an isolation piece with online teaching/learning. There are some students I have never seen their face; I couldn’t pick them out of a crowd. A teacher uses facial expressions, body language, and other behavioral cues to structure their lessons so teaching to a black screen or face full of masks is difficult. Educators have lost a large part of measurement they’ve used to structure pace and topic discussions. Are the students bored? Confused? Lost? Angry? Without facial expressions there are too many unknowns. As an educator, I feel I have lost a large portion of what it means to ‘be a teacher’.” 

The COVID-19 pandemic has largely impacted the lives of both students and teachers. Teachers have had to overcome many obstacles and find new ways to interact with students. Teaching has been reinvented in a world where we are unable to gather in fear of spreading illness. Whether schools are fully remote or hybrid, teachers everywhere are constantly overcoming challenges that come with remote teaching.