Drastic changes with virtual school has created a need for teachers to recreate the environment of Cougar Block from last year.
Cougar Block created a simple yet effective way for students to get the help they required from their teachers and sometimes fellow classmates. The hour made a huge difference, as those who were unable to meet after school got to see their teachers during the day since it was all during the same hour.
This action curated a bigger turnout of students going to tutorials or showing up for a class study session. With this time taken away from the day leaves many students lost when trying to get help from their teachers.
Attempting to find a right day and time to meet is a difficult task for those in TVS, and having this learning gap is leaving those in virtual at a huge disadvantage.
Communication is necessary in creating a good learning environment as well as high test scores. The recurring lack of it is leaving teachers clueless when determining which strategies work best for their classes, and students unable to tell them issues and possible improvements that could be made.
Schoology’s feature that allows students to message their teachers quickly can be taken advantage of for students to receive help and get questions answered. The problem is that some virtual students still are not logging into Schoology consistently, and aren’t able to receive in-person reminders about upcoming assignments and tests.
“My favorite form of communication is Schoology messages,” DC Government teacher Travis Taylor said. “Fastest communication comes through Schoology.”
While some teachers find that this feature is the easiest, there are multiple ways a student can get in contact with their teachers, including via email or Remind. However, the Schoology feature has left some teachers forgetting to check other forms of communication.
There is also the advisory period for the face-to-face students, but the issue with the advisory is that there are four blocks, and students are not allowed to leave the class to go to another, even for tutoring.
This puts students in the unfortunate situation of not being able to meet with certain teachers for extra help during school hours. Students must either arrive at school early or stay after, and those in TVS have to plan far in advance to have a virtual meeting.
There is a platform that College and Career Counselor Emily Nichols uses for meetings she has with students. The free online platform is youcanbookme.com, a scheduling tool that is simple for the curator as well as users to easily access a time where both are able to meet.
This program would be a simple solution to encourage online students and teachers alike to communicate more frequently and effectively, as virtual meetings can be much more helpful than a message through Schoology.
“Using You Can Book Me saves going back and forth finding a mutual meeting time,” Nichols said. “I highly recommend using the website.”
The booking tool can go as far into the future as the teacher likes and is easily made for their schedule. The student is able to go onto the teachers website link and shift though the times they have posted up to attend a meeting with them.
It’s clear that the way communication works this year is leaving many TVS students at a loss when understanding information. Until teachers around the school find a solution that works for them, TVS students remain at a disadvantage.