9 Things I Appreciate More Now That I’m Teaching During Quarantine

1. Classroom Atmosphere

Never before have I appreciated the dynamics of an actual classroom more than now. The energy, the interaction, and seeing the students’ faces light up when they understand a concept are sorely missed during this quarantine.

2. Hands-On Learning

Nothing compares to hands-on learning experiences. From conducting experiments to distributing classroom materials, the current virtual environment doesn’t provide the same experience for students.

3. Collaborative Projects

Group work and collaborative activities were excellent opportunities for students to learn from one another. The virtual setup has made it difficult to maintain that spirit of cooperation among peers.

4. Extra-Curricular Activities

Sports, clubs, and other extracurricular activities provided a much-needed break for both myself and my students. We now realize the importance of these activities in fostering school spirit and unity.

5. One-on-One Engagement

Identifying and addressing individual student’s needs is challenging in an online space. Being able to walk around the classroom and connect with students individually is an aspect of teaching that has become even more precious during quarantine.

6. Routine and Daily Structure

A regular schedule with structured lessons provided a sense of normalcy, stability, and predictability in our teaching-learning experience pre-quarantine. The disruption in daily structure has certainly made me appreciate its importance in a school setting.

7. Parent-Teacher Communication

The traditional opportunities for face-to-face meetings with parents allowed me to take stock of their child’s progress and discuss concerns directly. With virtual communication tools now being required for these interactions, I appreciate how invaluable those in-person meetings were.

8. Nonverbal Communication

Teaching with masks or via virtual platforms has limited our ability to read nonverbal cues from students—whether it’s confusion, discomfort, or a spark of inspiration in their eyes.

9. Interacting with Colleagues

Spontaneous discussions, idea-sharing and support from fellow teachers during breaks or after school were not just invaluable sources of growth and learning, but also helped maintain camaraderie among staff. The quarantine has made the value of these everyday interactions abundantly clear.

In conclusion, while the quarantine has forced educators to adapt to new ways of teaching, it has also given us a renewed appreciation for the traditional classroom setting. As we work hard to ensure our students’ educational needs are met despite these challenges, we hope for a future where we can return to the familiar comforts of the in-person classroom experience.

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