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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Faculty adjusts to virtual teaching

    By Chloe Morales | Junior Editor

    With the coronavirus pushing the classroom into a virtual setting, the teachers and staff of Gabrielino High School have had to adjust to a new normal. For the first time, the high school is operating completely online. 

       To accommodate the change, students attend classes on a block schedule in which periods one, three, and five meet on Mondays and Thursdays, periods two, four, and six meet on Tuesdays and Fridays, and Wednesdays are reserved for one 30-minute class dedicated to student mental health check-ins and faculty meetings.

       Behind the scenes, there was a lot of preparation to make virtual learning accessible for all. The faculty and staff have prepared,but there have been limitations since the switch. 

       Jacqueline Borja, counselor, struggled with not being able to reach her students as easily as she used to.

       “I just cannot send a call slip and then see them within five minutes. I have maybe one hour before school starts, after school at 2 p.m. or on Wednesdays,” she explained. “That is not a lot of days to try and work with 425 students.”

       A normal workday has changed for teachers, too, as some spend more hours working than they typically would. 

       Edith Gonzales, physical education teacher, said, “I find myself going to sleep late every day. Sometimes I don’t know when the workday begins or ends; it all just flows together.”

       For other teachers, it has been difficult to keep track of all their students.

       “All of the AP classes and the printmaking classes are taught in 3rd period,” explained Kat Ross, art teacher. “So it’s five classes at one time – it’s tricky.It was easier in person because I could meet in different areas of the room, talk, and still have good classroom management.”

       Some of the faculty have children at home, doubling their responsibilities. 

       Kevin McClure, physics teacher, said, “My four year old loves to jump into whatever I’m doing and doesn’t understand ‘daddy is working.’”

       Staff members also miss the face-to-face interactions and the relationships they form with students when on campus. 

       “I sure miss seeing all of the students coming by, asking questions, sharing their happiness and struggles each day,” stated Kevin Weir, attendance clerk. 

       Other teachers feel that online learning is a disconnected experience. 

       “It’s harder when you are being mediated through a screen to translate aura,” explained Scott Facher, English teacher. “I think it’s the difference between watching a movie at home alone in your living room on TV, or going to a theater and watching it on a big screen with a whole group of people.”

       As the school year progresses, online class remains the main platform for teaching at Gabrielino.

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    Faculty adjusts to virtual teaching