Student/Teacher Communication Negatively Impacted During Pandemic


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Students and teachers have been forced to use more digital forms of communication during the pandemic

Skyer Keovilay, Reporter

Communication plays an important role when it comes to teaching. It helps with students gaining information on a specific subject as well as being able to ask questions to the teacher personally. However, after COVID-19 hit, most schools had to switch gears and go online. Remote learning is a result of this. After remote learning arrived, communication has changed between the teacher and student.

Remote learning changed the way you could communicate with teachers personally. Now that classes are online, teachers aren’t going to be available when school is over, unless, you communicate with them via e-mail. Using e-mail as part of communication can slow down response time, as there are most likely other e-mails the teacher has.

Junior Justin Kosal believes that online communication is making a bigger gap between the student and the teacher. “Not only that the student could not directly talk to their teachers, or even to their peers, but it further isolates them and impedes them on specific topics that they don’t entirely understand,” Kosal said. “Direct use of messaging should be crucial between students towards each other, and their teachers if they need help on specific subjects and so forth.” 

Teachers believe that remote learning is making it harder to communicate with students. It is harder for them to get to know their own students and build the relationship between them. It is harder for teachers to talk to their students due to this problem. Steven Kretz, a social studies teacher, believes that it is harder to understand students and harder to build a relationship with them.

“So one thing that I like to do, you know, as a second-year teacher comparing this year to last year, is that it’s harder to build relationships with students in the remote learning environment, and it’s also hard to engage student understanding,” Kretz said. “What I’m finding is that in each class, usually there is about a third that are actively speaking, whereas the other two-thirds of every single class, there just really not unmuting, not really responding verbally, things of that nature.” 

Students, however, are split between their thoughts on remote learning. Some students think that remote learning has made things easier than before. Senior Cody Ohara believes that remote learning makes things easier. “Remote learning for me is really easy now that I can focus more,” Ohara said. “Maybe remote learning isn’t a choice that everybody would want but I think I would like it only because I’m not around many people and I can do things better from home.” 

Kosal thinks differently, however. He believes that being at home can be distracting and that it should be voluntary. “Remote learning should be voluntary to those who don’t want to get outside of their own bubble and be comfortable learning in specific areas rather than enforcing it all on the students at will,” Kosal said. “Although I am learning through online schooling, I’m often sidetracked and distracted with other things that involve family, which is a little bit detrimental to both my learning capabilities and attention span.” 

Technology plays a big role in communication as well. Since remote learning is online, there will be cases where the equipment provided will have problems. Due to the problems with school equipment, classes may slow down as well as communication between the student and teacher. Teachers have noticed that there have been some bugs when trying to show their screen.

“So, the second thing has been the technology issues that we’ve had occurring with streaming videos, streaming other things of that nature,” Kretz said. Students also have noticed that teachers are having problems with the equipment. “I know that most teachers are inexperienced with online classes but the only problem they seem to have is getting around and experimenting with different teaching styles now,” Ohara said. 

Communication between students and teachers has changed. From technology issues to relationship building, remote learning had made it either easier or harder for students to get in contact with their teachers. Every student is in a different situation at home, where it is either nice and quiet for them, or noisy and distracting for them. Communication has changed due to the learning environment, technology, and the student’s own choice.

“In my view, just face-to-face interaction is good for people. It’s within our human nature and we’ve been doing it for generations having that person-to-person contact,” Kretz said. “I do realize why we have to do it and just kind of realize that this is temporary and once things get back to normal, then I’m definitely excited about in-person, but I do realize why we cannot do it.”