At-home teachers devise ways to teach their students in school


From coming back to hybrid after three months, teachers had to adjust to a new synchronous style of learning, with half of their students in-person and half at home instead of being asynchronous during at-home days. However, some teachers have opted to teach straight from their homes this entire school year. The use of technology has made it easier for them to hold classes, but if teachers aren’t present in an actual classroom, how do their students function? 

Math teacher Amanda Humphrey has been teaching students online from her home since August. Inside her classroom, she has a webcam installed to see and hear her students in school. At home, Humphrey uses a dual screen monitor to view her students in the Google Meet and what’s being projected to them. “I think it’s a pretty good system. I get to utilize some breakout rooms, technology activities,” said Humphrey. 

One technology that helped her this school year is her iPad and stylus. “It has been a saving grace. I can write on it with a stylus, and that has been the easiest for me,” said Humphrey. 

Mrs. Humphrey’s classroom set-up
Photo by Francine Palmos

Despite teaching from home, Humphrey still gives lectures. “She still teaches as normal. She shares the screen where you can see the problems and work on them,” said Neerja Arkruwala, sophomore. For her classes, she puts her students into breakout rooms and lets them solve math questions. Humphrey also has her guided notes open with numerous examples on the whole unit.

Art Experience teacher Rachel Donnelly also has been teaching from home since August. For her students in-person, she prepared bins with the supplies and materials they need on each desk. “Not only is it safe, but it helps limit sharing of materials and students roaming around the classroom to look for one,” said Donnelly. 

In class, she spends around 5-25 mins of lecture time, then lets her students work after. She also asks them to submit their final and in-progress artworks digitally for them to look clearer. 

Mrs. Donnelly’s classroom set-up
Photo by Francine Palmos

Donnelly’s teaching style consists of lecture style instructions that she puts in a Google Doc. “I have a demo video library, in a Google Doc where I have every video I have recorded for students to look back to,” said Donnelly. Her at-home workplace includes an iMac desktop and a docking camera to show live demos in class. 

When asked what class was the hardest to teach, Donnelly answered jewelry. It requires students to work with tools, and it’s difficult to teach proper safety while she’s at home. Due to that, Jewelry I classes switched to Art Experience.

Science Teacher Kent Osborne has been teaching from home since HR went full online last November. A typical day in his classroom sometimes starts with an activity or taking down notes, but there will always be an activity to apply the lessons discussed in class.

For labs, Osborne does a demo on how to perform it. ‘In Chemistry in the Community, I’ve done some demos where I run the lab, and the kids just have to record data,” said Osborne. He also has video recordings of notes and activities for students to look back on.

Mr. Osborne’s classroom set-up
Photo by Francine Palmos

One struggle he has was knowing if his students are doing well inside the classroom. Osborne likes to walk around the classroom to check on his students and answer any questions they have. But now that he’s teaching from home, walking around isn’t an option for him to do.

“What I noticed online is that students would rather not ask questions, or they don’t want to be called on. You also get that inside the classroom. The only difference is that you’ll notice it when they’re not writing something down or they look confused. I can’t see that at home,” said Osborne.

These teachers have created many ways to teach their students remotely. Yet, nothing compares to the energy of teaching inside a classroom. Humphrey said, “Teaching in the classroom has so much energy; you feed off people’s energy.”

Francine Palmos, Staff Reporter