Virtual Learning: Teachers Adapt In New Teaching Environment


Caitlin Tripp

Staying Organized: AP world history instructor Cailtin Tripp enjoys a distraction-free virtual learning day from the comfort of her own classroom.

2020’s newest obstacle is virtual learning, which is both loved and hated among the population. Students and staff at North Atlanta must — or try to — settle in a new environment outside the building. Over the past three weeks of virtual learning, we have seen students and teachers interact over Zoom in their respective homes. Students often join Zooms from quiet or comfortable spots at home, ranging from their desks to the backyard. However, where do teachers go during virtual learning hours?

Teaching a hundred or so students through hours of video calls is a first for most of the North Atlanta staff. Teachers have been adapting in order to effectively teach their curriculums to their students over nine weeks. One way teachers have tackled such a foe is in their workspaces is by finding a calm non-distracting area to plan out lessons, grade work, and come together with students, creating the base of a good learning environment for all parties involved.

North Atlanta teachers have the option to teach at home or in the building, as long as they follow proper safety guidelines. Many teachers have children and stay home to take care of them, but others teach class from inside the building. This is a huge change among the few who teach from the nearly vacant school. “I chose to work in the building because I focus best in my classroom,” said AP world history teacher Caitlin Tripp. “I have room and silence to focus, and there are no other responsibilities.” 

Many teachers find that working in the classroom allows them to keep a good work ethic in the rooms they’re already comfortable in. It also creates an easy divide between work and personal life. Other teachers among the long list that prefer this teaching style include French teacher Philippe Maury, 9th grade math teacher Sarah Burns and senior IB teacher William Donovan.

Teachers who work from home must confront the challenges of a new location while also teaching students who are in similarly distracting settings. Teachers who work from home have to face many challenges and prepare well to combat these issues.  “You have to prepare ahead of time and don’t have access to the same materials and resources as you would in the building,¨ said sophomore-level math teacher Latoria Harris.

With six weeks left to go of distance learning before re-evaluation, teachers work to grow accustomed to these new circumstances. As the days go by, there is no doubt we’ll see remarkable results from teachers among this extreme environmental shift. Students can only expect teachers to continue to guide Warriors through this time in life as if they’re still in the building.