Double The Teaching: How Will Teachers Manage? 


Lily Garcia, Staff Writer

When Covid shutdowns happened, schools and teachers had to find a way to adjust. So now with some time to adjust to what’s been happening in the world, some schools have decided to open up fully again while some other schools like Fresno Unified School District (FUSD) decided to let the parents decide to either let their student or students stay online or to come into school part time. With this now being an option for students, teachers have to manage both online and in-person students. Teachers will now have to find a way to balance in-person and online teaching at the same time.  

FUSD decided to let the parents decide to either let their students or students stay online or to come into school part-time. The new schedule that FUSD is going by is three groups, group A, B, and C. Group A goes in person on Tuesday and Wednesday while the rest of the days they go online. Group B stays online all week except Thursday and Friday. Group C is the only group that stays online all week.

With all students being on different schedules it is now up to the teachers to accommodate both sets of students while making sure that all the students are still getting the same opportunity and chance to learn. Teaching was already hard before the pandemic 

While doing research on this topic, I was fortunate enough to interview some teachers from the FUSD to get their opinions on this topic. All these teachers have been teaching for 2 years or more and will be kept anonymous to protect their identities.

The first question they were asked was “How do you feel about teaching in-person and online at the same time?” The responses were a mix between positives and negatives. Some teachers say it’s nice to see students in person and it’s not as hard as they thought it would be. While some other teachers say they feel unprepared to balance their students’ needs and make sure that all the safety protocols are being met. Even while feeling like this, the teachers must get ready for the students.

So, my next question for them was “How do you as a teacher manage your in-person students as well as your online students? What are some things you will do to ensure that all students get the attention that they need?” Most teachers have found that projecting for the in-person students, while still having their screen on. Works well for both in-person and online students. A lot of what teachers are doing is trial and error. One teacher replied to this question by saying, “I don’t know. I have set up a plan and informed the kids of what the plan is but now all I can do is hope for the best.” Another teacher that agreed that projecting works for them also stated that students must become their own agents of their learning because the student-to-teacher relationship isn’t as close as it used to be now that we have been online for more than a year. 

When thinking about teaching, there is a lot of time that goes into it. So one of my questions for the teachers I was interviewing was “Do you think that with the schedule you were given to teach, you will be able to fully reach your students and be able to get them to fully understand the material?” Most of the teachers said that they could but they have to pack more stuff together to achieve that goal. They also said that they would feel if they had less to teach in general then they wouldn’t feel rushed and could take their time teaching certain units. Other teachers don’t feel like they have enough time based on knowing their students and what they need to fully understand the material.

A follow-up to this question that I asked the teachers is “Do you think this is an efficient way to teach students, or do you think there is any way that could work better?” All the teachers basically said no because there are changes in their opinions that could be made to make the schedule run smoother. One teacher believes that we should keep the schedule and focus more on the units that the kids will need for next year. Another teacher said that there should be additional help so that the teacher can focus on the students in front of them and online the same amount of attention.

Lastly, a teacher said that they, “do not believe this is an efficient way to teach students because with simultaneous teaching it becomes harder to teach in the same way. Perhaps if we went back to the original schedule handed A and B but the blocks for in-person and online that may be more efficient. So for instance the in-person students would go from 9 to 12 and then teachers would be online with students from 12 to 2.” 

For their final question, I asked the teachers “What type of pressure as a teacher do you feel to double teach at the same time?” With this question, they all had different responses. One teacher said, “I feel pressure to help my students “catch” in all situations but now I feel like I’m trying to save someone who is standing in quicksand.” Another teacher stated, “My biggest pressure as a teacher is making sure that students in-person follow all Covid safety guidelines. As well as they don’t feel ignored because most students are in fact on teams are on zoom getting education that way. I also don’t want the students that are online to feel ignored if I’m talking to a person that’s in the classroom and not to them.”

The final teacher said, “I don’t get paid enough to plan and implement double teaching. Point blank period.” All throughout my research on this topic, I realized how hard it is for teachers during this time. They must figure out how to do this double teaching all by themselves with little to no guidance.

With that, I would like to say thank to the teachers that took time out of their busy schedule to let me interview them and to all the other teachers out there doing their best to make sure their students are getting the best education possible during this confusing time. I would like to add an apology for sometimes not getting the recognition you deserved and for not getting paid a fair amount for what you do and contribute to society.

Thank you, teachers!