Online school is a struggle for all the new teachers and students, but one teacher has shown a lot of patience and helpfulness throughout the transition. Ms. DeLapp has done a lot to contribute to helping the online learning experience. She teaches seventh grade English and sixth grade Literature and English. She has been able to maintain teaching these classes effectively during online learning while also continuing to guide the White and Blue Press, the school’s online newspaper.
Ms. DeLapp helped setup a lot for the online learning process for the middle school even though there are many different platforms necessary. There were a variety of ideas put on the table when choosing ideal platforms of online learning, but Ms. DeLapp and Ms. Van Kirk determined that “while some of the younger grades found Google Classroom a great resource, we found that we have so many different teachers and moving parts in a given lesson, Hapara Workspace made more sense for middle school.” Ms. DeLapp put lots of thought and effort into making sure that online learning was a smooth and easy process for everyone, and in order to do this, she had to pick the perfect platforms for her students. Hapara Workspace has worked very well for teachers, parents, and students. Even 7th grade student Harrison has said that Ms. DeLapp helped make the right decision. He says, “I love Hapara Workspace because it helps students find the assignments they need to finish easily, and it’s all on one website.”
Ms. DeLapp has been happy with the decision, but, of course, there are some changes she would like. There are some flaws in the online learning system and some concerns that Ms. DeLapp has: she worries about the handful of students who stay up all night working, and that digital learning make it harder for students to work one-on-one with their teacher to get the help they need. Oftentimes, students stay up much later than they should working on all their school work. Ms. DeLapp wishes there was a “go to sleep” button that could shut everything off for the night. It’s also hard to schedule enough time for students to see teachers one-on-one, so Ms. DeLapp wishes that was an easier process and that not everything would have to be in large groups, but unfortunately, there is only so much time in a day.
While there are some necessary changes with online learning, Ms. DeLapp believes that online learning is overall effective even if it isn’t as effective as regular school. Ms. DeLapp does think online learning has been working for St. Robert, but she worries that it might be very stressful for students as well as teachers. She says, “some may find the virtual environment perfect for learning while others struggle with the necessary time management and independence it thrusts upon students.” Lots of stress can come out of the online learning experience, for it is a lot harder to manage than regular school because for the most part, middle school students are on their own schedules. This is one reason that Ms. DeLapp believes that online learning may be much less effective than in-class learning.
Ms. DeLapp has done a lot to contribute to the management of online learning even though it needs some changes and isn’t as easy to handle as regular school. Lots of people have been struggling with the online learning experience, but one person who they can look up to (and ask for help!) is Ms. DeLapp. She has done so much to contribute to making everyone’s life easier through this hard time. Teachers do so much more than people realize, and Ms. DeLapp is just one example of someone who cares deeply about their students’ education.