Teachers, students use remote classes to bond, discuss important issues


Photo provided by Stella Heon

Junior Stella Heon shows off her “hat that is not a hat,” a stuffed cow she wore on her head in response to the friendly challenge set by Bel Canto director Katy Sinclair.

“And the winner is…Stella!” said Bel Canto director Katy Sinclair. Instantly, 20 clapping emojis popped up — one on the top left corner of each student’s screen in the class Zoom call. Stella had won the game of “a hat that is not a hat” in her Bel Canto Zoom class for wearing a stuffed cow on top of her head. 

As students begin a new school experience full of Zoom calls and faulty internet connections, some teachers are making an effort to create a more interesting and lively online schooling experience. 

I feed off of their energy, their chaos, their humor and their spirit.”

— Katy Sinclair, Bel Canto director

I gave students the option of tuning into additional Zoom lessons where I discussed the biology of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the cause of the COVID-19 disease, and the mechanism behind some of the potential drug therapies that might help fight this pandemic,” Biology teacher Elizabeth Hubin said.

Dr. Hubin surveyed her class to see how they responded to the additional lesson concerning COVID-19, and students responded positively to the sessions, feeling more informed about science relevant to their lives.

Dr. Hubin has been focused on how to most effectively teach material so it is easier for the students to comprehend over Zoom.

For example, Dr. Hubin pre-recorded assignments for students to view before Zoom classes so that work is not overwhelming during class, then the class time can be less stressful because the information intake at any given time is less than it needs to be.

Ms. Sinclair has used remote learning to get to know her students on a personal level and form bonds with her Choir and Bel Canto classes. 

Ms. Sinclair makes non-competitive competition games with the students such as, “a hat that not a hat,” “Bring your pet to class,” to keep the lively bond with her students. 

“I feed off of their energy, their chaos, their humor and their spirit,” Ms. Sinclair said. “I needed to tap into that, as I am in a quiet house.”