Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

How COVID-19 Made Me A Better Law Teacher

Amy Soled (Rutgers), How COVID-19 Made Me a Better Teacher, 34 The Second Draft 1 (2021):

COVID-19 has caused havoc in the world as we know it, altering every aspect of life, including education. The pandemic forced me and other educators to teach online, and by doing so, it has made me a better teacher. I now (1) employ more teaching techniques; (2) assess more frequently; and (3) engage every student. As I emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, I have reflected on the positive lessons I learned from teaching online, lessons that I plan to bring with me when I return to the classroom.

I do not think teaching online is ideal: I miss walking around the classroom, observing body language, and hearing my students chat and laugh before, during, and after class; it is simply less personable. I eagerly anticipate returning to the classroom and seeing my students as full-bodied people not just faces in “Hollywood Squares.” While not perfect, online teaching showed me firsthand that computer technology can provide supplemental routes to learning. Class polls and assessments make students accountable for their learning and progress. Doing these things before big assignments are due, raises student self-awareness of their strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to review and revisit troublesome areas and master concepts before completing the final project. 

When I return to my classroom, I will continue to employ technology to enhance my teaching. By continuing to give no-stake quizzes I will endeavor to more frequently assess my students. I further hope to more actively engage every student by continuing to poll them in a way that ensures every learner actively participates. Finally, I will use more visuals that students can review before and after class, giving my kinesthetic learners “practice” time in the classroom. Educational psychologists have recognized that the student mode of absorbing and processing information requires different instructional strategies. I am grateful that online teaching has showed me how to incorporate these strategies in my teaching.

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