What I Appreciate About My Instructors in the New Era of Online Learning
Chaitali Botcha is a Junior at Texas A&M University majoring in Biomedical Sciences and minoring in Leadership
Since the start of the pandemic, the world has taken an unexpected turn. People have suffered loss of loved ones, loss of jobs and loss of time from being stuck in this inescapable bubble. However, it would be unfair to discredit the light teachers and professors have shed on our lives despite having their own hardships.
In Hindi, we refer to a teacher as “guru” or wise and knowledgeable one. They are highly respected in the Hindu culture not because they have knowledge, but because they share it and provide their mentorship to develop successful individuals out of their students.
With nearly “93% of people in households with school-age children [reporting] their children engaged in some form of ‘distant learning,’” we all have come to accept the virtual reality we are living in today. Some may consider it an advantage to have technology that allows us to continue learning and working. While this may be true, many are facing difficulties with remote learning and losing the vital face–to–face interpersonal skills that we once had.
With that being said, professors’ efforts to help students adapt are very much appreciated. Many are a bit “old-school” when it comes to technology. Now having no other option, and wanting to give students the learning experience they deserve, professors are taking the time to learn new technology. They are facilitating a smooth transition and bringing a new attitude to the table. Despite their busy schedules, professors are offering more flexibility to their students and extending extra credit assignments. They are also providing links to resources that help us understand topics better. They realize virtual learning isn’t easy and have been very accepting and understanding.
Professors are adapting to these changes just like us, but they have masked their frustrations and are doing the best they can to show they care.
Some things I noticed my professors doing include:
- Allowing extra days to complete an assignment or assessment because they understand the internet isn’t always in our favor
- Asking for feedback to ensure that the test was fair in accordance with the material we were taught
- Setting up one-on-one zoom office hours to answer any questions or concerns the student may have regarding the coursework
I am thankful for my professors—as every student should be. This pandemic is not over yet and the only way we can reach the end of the tunnel is by supporting one another.