By: Armaan Rajwany
As the threat of COVID-19 increases, the teaching staff at Broward County Public Schools are faced with shifting their physical classrooms into a virtual learning experience.
Although this may be seen as an obstacle, staff and students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have made adapting to at-home schooling their mission — especially under new Stay-at-Home orders from Governor DeSantis.
Veteran English literature and AP Capstone teacher Andrea Kowalski-Rospierski responds to the difficulty of instructing her curriculum on a virtual platform, saying that to succeed, “Students have to be self-motivators and be capable of creating a schedule for themselves to balance completing all of their classes online.”
She hopes that upon the return to a classroom environment, students will better understand the value of human interaction, as teaching is best practiced with a strong relationship between educator and student. While all of their classes remain indefinitely online, students must discover new approaches and learning strategies to ensure their success in school.
“A more organized schedule is generally the key to making achievements in online classes simpler for students,” said Shaunak Maggon, a senior who lives in Parkland’s MiraLago community.
Urging others to prepare schedules for both their classes and homework, Maggon is deeply involved in learning while outside of a school environment by attending all of his virtual lectures and completing homework on time without the assistance of a teacher.
Broward County Schools utilize Canvas — the hub for classroom communication and activity. Canvas allows teachers to inform and assign students content, as they complete their courses from home.
Dawn Cunicelli Tavares, department head of social studies, is relieved to know many teachers in her department were very well versed in using Canvas. Expecting nothing less, Tavares understands that her fellow teaching staff must rely more heavily on the program than ever before. Yet, she is joyful to know that they are adapting with care and effort.
Whether the shift to virtual learning may be successful or not, it remains true that the absence of the Eagle family saddens both teachers and students.
Tavares said the teachers look forward to the day they are back in their classrooms. In the meantime, they are here to love, support, and encourage students through this.