October 1, 2021
There was nothing biology teacher Katherine Morrow could do. No matter how hard she tried to inspire in-class interaction, Morrow knew she would be spending ninety minutes talking to a wall of lifeless circles and blank chats.
“I had one class that was very, very quiet the entire time. I could not get them to talk to me or each other, even in breakout rooms,” Morrow said.
It was a different story in a number of her other classes though. Morrow found that many of her virtual classrooms grew closer together through group projects, classroom-wide jokes, and interactive assignments.
“I think anything that kept us laughing and smiling last year was helpful. Even if I didn’t see their faces, I knew that they were engaged because of the amount of typing that was going on,” Morrow said.
In the end, Morrow felt it was the students who ultimately made the biggest difference.
“There were some students that were very quiet at the beginning of the year, but they ended up becoming friends with more extroverted students,” Morrow said. “I love that about TJ. Students that are extroverted don’t just play together, they actually pull in the introverts and make friends with them.”