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A Day in the Life of a Virtual Teacher

“It's been challenging," says Mrs. Jessica Coppola, NHS English teacher. “I feel like I’m learning about who I am as a teacher.” Coppola has been teaching at NHS since November  2014 and finds teaching virtually one of the biggest challenges of her career. 


For Mrs.Coppola, virtual teaching has been “challenging” and an experience like no other.  Virtual learning has its perks, but is also new during this unique time. Coppola says that her teaching methods haven’t changed, and that she thinks she is "just placing more value on the experience of it. Most of the teaching I’ve done in the classroom, I’m still doing now.”  She is a high energy teacher and virtual learning has been taking away from the interaction with her students that gives her energy.  


Coppola has not changed her work ethic, but does miss the in person connection with students. “My kids sometimes stare at me when I ask a question, and I miss not having real interactions with my students,” she said. 


Despite the changes in location and loss of connection, some things remain the same for Coppola. In regards to organization, she says, “I am keeping everything digital. I am an old school teacher; after class I take notes in a notebook.” Like most teachers, students and parents, Coppola prefers in-person learning to the current virtual plan. “I think a huge part of my strength as a teacher is building a community and being as human as possible, and virtual instruction takes away that element.” 


During virtual instruction, Mrs.Coppola feels that lack of participation and silence are some of the biggest challenges to overcome. “I think one of the biggest differences is the sound, teaching to muted microphones. There is no natural noise.” “I am a very high energy teacher, and a lot of that comes from my students,” she says. She feels that not having a connection with her students, especially in the beginning of the school year is very difficult because she hasn’t met any of her students yet. 


As the world heads into 2021, Mrs. Coppola is anxious to get back to school and a more normal routine. As we go back into school after the pandemic students and staff are very excited to be possibly going back in February.