OPINION: Teachers need to be more engaging in the classroom


Students during 4th lunch prepare to leave the cafeteria. Photo by Ofelia Mattingly.

Ofelia Mattingly

With what the community has gone through this past year and now, people have adapted more to using the internet because of work, school or simply because of their unemployment situation. 

“…During the pandemic, with the constant quarantines and absences. It is important that everything we do in class can be instantly accessible,” Grayson Beverly (9, YPAS) said.

In schools today and in previous years, teachers utilize the internet to take attendance, and create PowerPoints, but teachers usually create a PowerPoint and utilize the same PowerPoint for future use with only some minor changes to match the times. 

Many students believe that teachers should tackle more engaging content or ways to have more student participation.

“… Just relying on them to take notes or fill out a worksheet is boring! Especially when it’s for seven hours straight,” William Shavkey (9, YPAS) said. 

In JCPS starting last year, teachers and students had to use technology to be able to have class since schools were shut down. Teachers depended on using the internet to either make sure students can attend their classes or share their screen for instruction, or so students can have the information covered in class if they were absent.

“I keep everything on Google Classroom, so that students who have to be out, which is going to be a thing, can get information and even participate in turning in assignments,” Amy Ritchie (English) said.

To get more student participation in the classroom, teachers need to use the internet like how they would during NTI. Jamboard, Quizizz, Kahoot are good examples of useful apps that helped make NTI more engaging.

“It becomes more interactive and entertaining for friendly competition against others without exposing test scores or grades,” Evelyn Berg (10, HSU) said. “Also, it provides an engaging way to study that students could use before a test. Lastly it saves paper and helps with better organization as everything is in one place.”

“They are more interesting than a slideshow,” Maya O’Dell (9, J&C)

“We get to interact with someone [something] we use constantly instead of a notebook. It also keeps us engaged because it’s easy to get bored just writing notes,” Emma Hayes (12, J&C) said.

Though there are benefits to using more technology, there are still many challenges that come with utilizing the internet more in school. 

“My opinion currently is that they appreciate some of that [using apps], but they’re on their screens so much that I feel like it’s currently more of a challenge to get them off their screen,” Ritchie said. 

Hayes, Shavkey and O’Dell believe that using more of the internet in the classroom can lead to more distractions than aid in students’ ability to learn.

“Some students learn with different strategies and this online learning may not cater to everyone’s needs,” Berg said. “This is also a non-traditional method that not all students may be aware of how to use or may have access to at home especially when these assignments are used as homework.”

Beverly believes that it may be more work for teachers especially since they are stressed with everything going on now.

“I’m not recording videos like I was during NTI, which I would love to do more of, but there is honestly not enough time,” Ritchie stated. “I would have to work way, way overtime to do that.”

But even if teachers decide not to engage students in this way, there are other options to make their classes more engaging: by doing more hands-on activities.

“We should have a more hands-on…” Ritchie stated. “I use PowerPoints everyday, again it’s to have something to go back to class [when students are absent], pandemic or not.”