Online classes give students insight into teachers’ lives


Photo courtesy of Melissa Morgan

English and Peer Tutoring teacher Melissa Morgan bakes cookies in between online classes. She has been exploring baking many different kinds of treats, and she recently made these sugar cookies.

Jacqueline Welsh, Staff Writer

Before students had online classes, most of them knew little to nothing about their teachers, and they did not know how much there was to learn about them, until now. Sure, students might have known the basics: first name, if they’re married, if they have kids, some of their hobbies. Since online learning has started, students are learning more and more about their teachers everyday. Synchronous online classes have given students an insight to teachers’ everyday/quarantine lives. 

“I learned that both my chem and history teachers have pets named Penny… one of them is a dog; one of them is a parrot,” said sophomore Andrew Egerstrom. 

Many students have enjoyed getting to know their teachers a little more, and they think it can make classes more interesting. Most of the time, students see their teachers as just that, teachers; but they are also humans, and they have lives outside of school. This time online really lets us realize this. 

“My ASL teacher has five kids…and apparently she prefers Miracle Whip over mayo,” says junior Alex Kowalski. 

In Jennifer Beach’s journalism classes, her dogs are often in view. They jump up onto her couch and even sometimes lick the camera. She adopted a puppy, Angus, during quarantine, and class often ends with a quick look at him. 

In Melissa Morgan’s peer tutoring class, she discusses her daily runs through the cemetery near her home. She also details her baking journey, which she has been exploring as a hobby during quarantine. Morgan also shared with the class a music video that would remind students to “be happy” during this time alone. “I do think students are getting to know me better…by opening up just a little bit more about what I’m doing at home. I also want to validate what students may be feeling… I want to show them that we’re all in this together,” said Morgan. 

In Eric Hoang’s band classes, he shows the class his baby daughter to appease the masses. His students often crave interaction with his daughter, who was born April 2019. 

Students in other Fairfax County schools are also getting to learn more about their teachers during distance learning. Irving Middle School students say they enjoy seeing their teachers’ home lives, children, and pets. 

“I think that the students are getting to know their teachers better by understanding what goes on behind the scenes. I like seeing my teachers’ pets and kids because those are things I wouldn’t get to see during the normal school year. It makes me feel closer to them,” says Irving seventh grader, Julia Welsh.

Although distance learning was started due to negative events in our community, a stronger bond between student and teacher is one of the more positive effects of our current situation.