Zoom Calls Result in Less Participation in Classes

A zoom screen filled with black spaces is a frustrating sight for teachers.

A zoom screen filled with black spaces is a frustrating sight for teachers.

Camille Mergenthaler, Staff Writer

A typical class in BMS class during the pandemic is scary. Scenes of students wearing masks and sitting six-feet apart, while never being able to talk or hang out with their classmates. 

This is a problem in world language classes, where participation is a big part in learning the language. In classes, students are being asked to learn a topic where verbal interaction is a big part of participation. I asked Senora O’Mahoney-Elliot, a Spanish teacher at BMS, about how participation restrictions have affected her class. 

I think the pandemic has certainly affected students’ participation as a whole due to the nature of remote learning. Participation means engaging in each in-class activity and using these moments to create and develop your skills in Spanish. During distance learning, my colleagues and I have learned many different ways to engage our students and create opportunities for them to collaborate using their learning and understanding.”

Participation in classrooms is not the only thing stunted because of the pandemic. Over 250 new students have entered this year into the Westport School System as a result of covid. All of these kids are new, which means they do not know anyone in the building. I asked Mrs. Sara Harding how the virus has impacted friend making; “In the classrooms, it might be harder for a new student to introduce themselves and interact with as many students due to the inability to safely move around the classroom. When a new student arrives, I would arrange a buddy for them so they can socialize with other students.” 

Being new is hard, but to help out,“Students can help by reaching out and try to help them feel more comfortable socially.” 

Overall, student’s social lives have been stunted, but hopefully, by the summer we will be back and resilient!

To learn more about how participation in schools have been affected by Covid