High school teachers scramble to teach the rest of the school year online


It's been almost two weeks since the Quebec Education Minister François Roberge announced new directives for high school teachers who are having to scramble to make them work.

Teachers are expected to give students specific tasks and to be in frequent contact with students. Those who are able are asked to do Zoom classes, although they are optional for some students.

Many teachers say it's been tough keeping up but are doing their best to provide as much support for their students as possible.

Rob Meyers, who teaches history at Beurling Academy,  just began Zoom classes last week with his Grade 10 students.

"I miss the banter that goes on in a classroom that's not going to (be emulated) online," said Meyers. "But kids have been active in the chat and were eager to answer questions."

Meyers said about 75% of his students participate in Zoom classes.

It's a similar case for Gennifer Giradello, a teacher at Lester B. Pearson High School. She said online classes during the last two weeks have been somewhat successful but they will never replace being in a classroom.

"I am used to walking down the aisles and looking at what the kids are writing," said Giradello. "They can ask me questions about a problem and I am right there."

According to the education minister, a third report card is expected to be handed out to students at the end of the year which will determine a "pass/fail" mark, but the details are few and far between. 

Both teachers say it's taking a toll on the students and the parents but add that everyone has been supportive. Both Meyers and Giradello say they worry about what school will look like in September. 


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