Student Observing Through the Pandemic

Written by Guinevere Stearns  

I am a junior-early childhood education major who transferred to Carlow in Fall 2020. I attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) for my first two years of college and had the opportunity to do my student observations in a classroom before the pandemic. 

Photo of an empty preschool classroom

I started my student observations last February in a preschool classroom, teaching pre-masks and pre-COVID, as I expected I would when I started college. When the pandemic started and all classes moved to online, my professors had no time to prepare. The second half of the Spring 2020 semester I was watching old teaching videos from years ago and writing reflections on what I saw in the videos. Now, however I am back in a classroom, but virtually! I am observing an online fifth grade class which is something I never thought I would be doing.  

The classes are all online and the fifth-grade students participate in virtual discussions and class questions through a webcam. They use Classkick to fill out classwork, take tests, and work through their reading assignments. I was able to observe their reading test recently and answer questions they had right on the website.  

Screenshot from the Classkick website which shows how students work together and recieve feedback from their teachers.
Classkick teaching website: See how it works here.

Getting in-field experience virtually was certainly something I had never expected I would have to do, but moving forward, I think that teachers will need to learn how to move their lessons online and be prepared for all that student teaching has to offer. From a classroom to a Microsoft Teams meeting, I have certainly been fortunate enough to be able to experience the full pandemic transition in the field of student observations.  

In order to better prepare myself as a teacher for the future of online teaching, there are many ways to learn about virtual teaching. Click here to learn more about how to become the best virtual teacher you can. 

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