Being a new teacher during e-Learning


Ms. Mander

Callie Kranz, staff writer

As the staff and students of Joliet West know, e-learning has presented many new experiences as the world battles COVID-19. Teachers have spent many extra hours arranging lessons to be more practical to teach in an online format for their students. 

Remote learning has been challenging for all staff and students. Not being able to communicate as well with their friends and teachers has been the main concern for a lot of students. However, for many of the new teachers, it has been a difficult transition trying to figure out e-learning and having a job as a new teacher.

Ms. Mander, a 2015 alumni of Joliet West and first year geometry teacher, also found it difficult not being able to communicate with and have relationships with her students. She explains, “ I didn’t realize all of the little things in the classroom that when students enter, you say hi to them every day, or, how many times kids ask me small questions in class where I can give them feedback right away, or just physically seeing them in person and having small, quick conversations,” she adds. 

As well as not learning inside the building, students and staff of Joliet West have experienced a change in their normal sports and activities due to Coronavirus. Prior to the pandemic, Ms. Mander envisioned her first year of teaching to include coaching sports and having relationships with her students be built rapidly through various activities held on campus. “I also envisioned myself participating in a lot of the school activities and programs. As much of myself into the school as I could be,” she added. Sports and activities provide a great opportunity for students to meet new people at Joliet West. “There’s so many opportunities for kids to find themselves. Find their friends, what they like, and what they don’t like.”  

“We’re super fortunate to have staff that will want to support those things,” she adds. 

Although the start of the 2020-21 school year has been untraditional, it is important that the students and staff remain positive as the new normal at Joliet West continues to take shape. Certainly both students and staff alike have been challenged as the world fights COVID-19.