by Salima Satani
Now that I think about it, teaching online was productive but long. In fact, I adjusted and managed very well. Two years later, I was back in the class and very happy to say how much I love teaching in person and that those online days are long gone; at least I hope they are.
What a great feeling it was to be back in the classroom. I forgot how much I missed my classroom, my desk, the feel of papers, pens, books and of course actually teaching face to face and discussing topics with l my learners felt great.
Now don’t get me wrong, teaching online was a very important tool for getting everyone through the Pandemic. I must say my learners and I managed quite well online but teaching in the classroom has given me a new sense of appreciation, passion and value.
Teaching online comes with benefits such as easily clicking a button to start the class, sharing the screen and accessing information. When I reminisce about online teaching I think about how many times I found myself asking this question “Can you all hear me, please unmute or are you there?” Wifi connections were at times a challenge but we got through it and learned the value of information technology.
I do believe online classes are a good way and an easy way to bring people together. Online interviews, classes, shows and much more are the new norm but can they compare to the actual in person feeling one feels with the 5 senses? As human beings, isn’t it in our nature to make connections with others in person? Don’t we like to socialize, interact, communicate, and laugh with each other face to face?
The Pandemic was unavoidable and we did what was required to do but were we ever made to live life online? For a short while, perhaps and we made it work because we had to, but can you just imagine if life was online forever? How would that be? Kind of boring, I say! Now don’t get me wrong, learning online, teaching online, meeting family and friends online has helped us get through the Pandemic, but now that we have started living life away from the online world, I bet you those laptops don’t come out as often as they did!
Speaking for myself, I sure became tech savvy and became an IT expert. I can say that I successfully taught well online, did volunteer work, participated in online events and gave presentations. Not only was I happy to teach online, but I was extremely happy to return to the classroom in person. Even though I enjoyed it and am grateful for the online virtual teaching opportunity, I can truly say that going back to the books and back to the basics of in person teaching has made teaching all the more meaningful!
Yassin’s thoughts about online and in person learning:
Returning to school, returning to literature, and returning to the foundations of learning is the finest thing ever.
A school environment connects students directly with their classmates and teachers. This has social as well as educational benefits. Because they see the same classmates every day in class; students have the opportunity to form friendships. Students in higher education have the opportunity to form possibly long-term professional partnerships. Students have the chance to physically participate in a lesson or class discussion on the teaching side. Students can always ask the teacher for clarification if they have any questions.
The advantage of online education is that students may attend classes from wherever they want. Courses available over the internet, in my opinion is a perfect plan for working parents. One can really choose with online courses as you can schedule your education around your schedule, plan to have a family, work and also allows you to spend more time with your family. Anyone with a busy or unexpected schedule can benefit from distance education with having the option to attend online college while working full-time.
The disadvantages of online education include WiFi issues and a lack of clarity in the voices of the teachers and learners alike, making it difficult to understand all.
The in-person class schedule is defined and cannot be changed and students must schedule their personal life around school. The student cannot reschedule the class schedule to submit the assignment at a later time if plans change unexpectedly or an emergency happens. Students must choose between receiving an education and earning a career if there is a timing problem between work and school.
In my opinion, both in-person and virtual learning have advantages and disadvantages. Fortunately, schools and instructors have greatly improved their virtual learning capacities since the Pandemic began, making it simpler for students to identify which strategy is beneficial for them and continue learning by having options to choose from.
Yassin Ibrahim Mohammed