Back on Schedule

What about the teachers?

Genn Muller, Staff Writer

Everyone knows that the last two years of being locked in our homes were beyond foreign, as well as difficult for the built-in schedule and strict guidance of our daily life that most of us were used to. 

Students lost motivation and willingness to continue doing well in school, leading to a drop in grades for the majority of the student body. But how did it affect the teachers?

Teachers from all over Oakmont were asked about their experience within the “Zoom era.”

Natalie Martinez, Oakmont’s World Religions teacher in the IB program, had expressed her aversion towards the year spent indoors when asked about what she missed.

“It was just awful. You had too many things [to worry about]: kids on Zoom being neglected, kids in the classroom being neglected,” Martinez said. “It was all just too much. I’d much rather have a longer day to take care of everyone.” 

Neglect was a common fault throughout the year, students weren’t getting the attention they deserved to allow them to better succeed in class. 

Another teacher, Mamadou Balde in the Language department, teaching French, also mentioned the difficulties of switching from Zoom to in-person. 

“It has been positive so far,” Balde said. “Except for [trying] to remember how my skills were prior to COVID and trying to get back into communicating within the classroom now with faces and interaction instead of black screens and clicking.” 

Ryan Nugent, of the History department, had said something similar. 

“I thought it would be easy, teaching for so long, the first few days though have been really weird,” Nugent said. “Wearing the mask compared to not having to while teaching has been a little bit awkward. It’s taken a little more adjusting than expected.”

When talking about their experiences, the one thing that remained a consistent answer was how much they missed the students.

Not having students around and present was definitely a challenge to them, as they are teachers. Overall, the teachers noticed that the students were struggling mentally, and the hardship of having to pick them up individually while also having to focus on the studies and duties for the rest of the class became overwhelming. 

Thankfully, with the help of administration putting school and classes back together, it should be easier for both students and teachers to succeed and do better.