Teaching adaptations at PSHS during the Pandemic


Sofie Myers, Editor in Chief

Teaching adaptations at PSHS during the Pandemic

The Covid-19 Pandemic has been a hard hit for everyone. Some of the people who have adjusted the most during this time are the teachers. 

At PSHS, mostly all of the teachers have been able to teach in the classroom, although some struggles have arisen as the year progresses. 

Mrs. Havlin, one of PSHS’s Spanish teachers, says that her biggest change she had to make this year was adjusting her lesson plans to the new learning format. 

And Mr. Williams, the PSHS Technology teacher, said that his biggest change was completely changing the curriculum, to make some of the programs that he uses in the Mac Lab accessible to online students as well as in person students. 

Sometimes, whole lesson plans or classroom traditions have to change entirely to make learning still possible even in the pandemic. 

Mrs. Havlin says: “I have to try to let my students interact with each other while social distancing at the same time.  This can be difficult for our speaking activities.  I also have to be able to include my online students in these speaking activities, which can be difficult.  I use Zoom breakout rooms for my online students, so they can still talk to each other and work together.”

Other teachers like Mr. Williams also reflected on curriculum changes.

“This year, I had to change the curriculum of a few of my classes to accommodate remote learning.  I absolutely didn’t mind doing this, however, the coursework isn’t what the experience should have been.  In my Computer Animation class, for instance, students use Adobe Animate and Adobe Character for most of their projects.  Since those programs are only available on the computers in my lab, I had to change the lessons to more of an animation / programming class” Mr. Williams explains. 

Although the PSHS teachers have adjusted quickly and efficiently to these changes, there are still some struggles nonetheless. 

“I miss moving around the class, letting my students do speaking activities together. We still interact, but we just can’t move around like we used to.  We have other activities, like tossing the ball to learn numbers etc, which we can’t do at this time,” Mrs. Havlin explains. 

Mr. Williams feels sentimental about the online learning changes, stating: “I miss seeing my students.  I became a teacher because I love working with students.  Not being able to see all of them in class really sucks.  Seeing them on a computer screen isn’t the same.”

Although there have been a lot of hardships, the teachers have had some upsides to the online learning and new format.

For example,  “I have learned a lot about technology which can only help me in the future.  I was never very good at the technology part of my job.  I have been learning so much!” Mrs. Havlin elaborates. 

Mr. Williams, who is already a technology expert, likes other aspects of the new learning format.

He said, “I really like recording my lessons and posting them to Google Classroom. I don’t have a textbook for my classes, so it is nice to have a video that students can refer back to when they are confused about something we covered in class.”

Overall, this year has been so chaotic, and the teachers have really had to adapt to these changes, but they are hopeful about the future. 

“I am so proud of all of my students, both in person and remote.  They have adjusted so well and never complain,” says Mrs. Havlin.

Mr. Williams finishes his thoughts with an incredible message to the students of PSHS: 

“Even though I primarily work with student,s I do on occasion conduct technology workshops for the staff.  I have been so impressed with how well the staff throughout the district adapted their teaching methods to bring students the best possible learning experience in these unprecedented times.  People have no idea of the countless hours, days, weeks teachers spent (and still spend) not only learning the new technology, but modifying it to fit the needs of their class.”

Mr. Williams continued, “I am also extremely proud of how the majority of our students have continued to adapt to the ever changing world in which we live.  Our seniors have had to deal with so much more in their lifetime than any generation that has come before them – including living in a post 9-11 world, countless wars, economic challenges, the ever changing school curriculum, school shootings, and now a global pandemic.  The more problems that are thrown at them, the more they step up to the plate and persevere.  Our students really are amazing!”

Students: make sure you are being thankful for your amazing teachers for adapting their plans for us so well in hard times!

And, thank you to the PSHS staff!