How Teachers Are Managing in the COVID Age of Online Learning

Kelly Zabala, Writer

With the fear of COVID-19 spreading rapidly through the media, Downey High School made the decision to close down its campus and start online learning on March 13, 2020. With hopes of returning to school for the 2020-21 school year, teachers did their best to educate students. 


Like most other teachers, Mr. Rios, an English teacher at Downey High, had much to learn about technology and how to use it for his students as he admits to having a difficult time with technology overall.


The concept of growing and learning through any challenge is nothing new. This is something that Mr. Rios, an English teacher at Downey High School, has found to be true, as he implemented this mentality throughout the time spent teaching online.


“This has forced me to think about what I teach and how I’m teaching it,” Mr. Rios said. “It’s forced me to be more mindful of what I put together and how it’s going to affect their learning… I think I’m going to discover that I had room to grow in areas I wasn’t aware of.”


The classroom environment is different now than it was a year ago. A year ago, students sat in class and turned paper assignments in. Now, students are sitting behind a screen, listening to their teacher via Zoom, a video communications software program, in the comfort of their own home, turning assignments in through an educational software called Canvas.


 Ms. Correa, a math teacher at Downey High, states that this process is different and something to get used to.


“Not being in a classroom, interacting with kids, and reading your faces, I think that’s what I miss more than anything,” Correa said. “But you know, we do adjust. We know we have to leave some math out… we choose [a topic] more beneficial in college.”


While hoping to return to a classroom environment, Mrs. Ramirez, an English teacher at Downey High, acknowledges that the return will change students’ perspectives. 


As students join their Zoom meetings from the comfort of their home, they are deprived of a classroom environment with one on one engagement with a teacher. Teachers are also at risk of students not learning from their classes as they did before. 


Mrs. Ramirez, an English teacher at Downey High, finds herself hoping that students will take advantage of the resources available to them in a classroom along with a new perspective of what it really means to be there.


“I was wondering if there will be a level of appreciation for academics and school that maybe wasn’t there before. Because it was taken away from us so quickly and in the fashion that I was, maybe some kids will come back with a sense of joy saying “I’m so happy to be here and be with my friends”… I hope there is more appreciation for more aspects of life.” 

Although the coronavirus has caused a setback in the process of learning for students, teachers are doing what they can to provide a quality education. As they continue to do the best they can, students and parents will await Downey Unified’s possible reopening of schools and new on-campus mandates.