From Face-to-Face to Zoom: The Professor's Perspective
An Exhibit by Bianca-Rhae Jacquez, a St. Mary's University History major.
At the beginning of the pandemic, St. Mary’s was quick to start changing the structure of classes and campus life. They began looking for the safest ways of continuing the semester. Online learning was quickly adopted by all professors in March 2020. Now 8 months later, we take a closer look at the journey the professors took as they were able to make the shift into this new form of teaching.
Professors act fast to make classes online mid-semester
Typically, classes at St. Mary’s were mostly in-person before the Covid-19 pandemic. This allowed the campus to have a very busy and lively atmosphere. Life was normal for students as they headed into their Spring Break in March. On March 13th, 2020, all St. Mary’s students received an email stating that we would be getting an extra week of Spring Break to allow the professors to transfer their classes online. Professors were quick to reach out to the students in their classes and let them know the next steps that the class as a whole would be taking.
St. Mary's begins Fall 2020 with big changes
With 75,730 total cases in Bexar county and with the fall semester getting closer, St. Mary’s began taking precautions. First, the school tackled what classes would look like for students this year. Giving students three different options in what type of classes was the solution. The hesitation to go back on campus was still strong within many of the students who reached out to professors asking to stay full-time virtual even though their class was scheduled to be a combination of in-person/virtual. Classrooms and campus life began changing as well with St. Mary’s introducing safer measures for teachers and students. All these changes were focused with the purpose to ensure professors and students would be able to continue classes safely.
The Professors' Voices
In the mix of all the confusing, nervousness, and anxiety of starting the academic year the teacher’s perspective began to become a second thought. Social media presented the students' struggles and emotions, forgetting the educators’ struggles. For many teachers, this pandemic launched them into their first time teaching online, with many having to get certificates to teach online over the summer. Professors were having issues with their internet, technology, and keeping students engaged. Listening to the professor's perspective allows a new point of view on what learning during a pandemic looks like.
As we adjust to online classes as our new norm, it is key to understand everyone’s perspectives. Students and teachers both have similar struggles. Emotionally, mentally, and physically this pandemic has caused issues. We need to appreciate all the efforts that everyone has put into allowing our education to not be jeopardized.