Teachers in 2020: Strict versus laid back

How have teachers changed their teaching style and adapted to teaching during a pandemic?


Cassandra Michaels

Some ICCSD teachers have adjusted their expectations as a result of the pandemic.

Ever since the new school year started, teachers have changed their teaching methods with some opting to be more lenient, while others have kept their classes roughly the same.

World literature teacher Havilah Peters creates a happy balance between strict and lenient. In her class, she likes to keep on schedule, but also allows time for students to exist with the pandemic times. She always opens the class with fun questions varying from weekend wins to asking what students did over break. Every class is consistent: students look at the calendar to remind themselves of upcoming assignments, participate in the lesson or in discussion over the book they read, and end off with a cheerful goodbye.

“Right now I want all of my students to learn this year, and to leave mentally and physically healthy,” Liberty High British literature teacher Darrien Robbins said.

Similar to Peters, Robbins is less strict, allowing more time to do assignments and allowing the online class’ chat to become off-topic at times, creating a better sense of community. His main goal this year is to ensure his students are safe while keeping learning at a close second.

“No English teacher needs more than 45 students so that they can take more time on each,” Robbins said.

Robbins believes that with fewer students he could work one on one more with each student, especially with online classes making learning less personal. This year has seen slight cuts on what he has the time to teach, but he focuses on making the best out of the lessons he has time for.

“I’m trying to balance the notion that students still need to progress mathematically with the acknowledgment that it is more difficult to learn under these conditions,” AP Calculus teacher Jon Bach said.

Bach takes a more strict approach. His class resembles the usual math class, keeping a tight schedule of video lectures, homework, and quizzes. This also puts more responsibility on the students to do more work outside of school to prepare for the AP exam. Mr. Bach has decreased his level of strictness this year to best teach the class online.

Finally, we have teachers like Rob Crawford, a physics teacher, who has formed the most lenient and most workable class. In Crawford’s class, students are allowed to work at their own pace. Students still have their two lectures each week, but labs and quizzes can be done whenever you want before the end of the trimester. Although this can be easier for some students, it can also be much harder as it needs much more motivation outside of class to get the homework and quizzes done.

Whether teachers are more strict or more laid back this year has been different for students and teachers alike, with teachers putting in more hours, and students learning more on their own.