Teacher’s Say

What do you do for student well-being during distance learning?

Every issue, the Crusader asks several BVH teachers a question about a topic that is valuable to the BVH community. Due to the massive changes in educational procedures that have resulted from quarantine and the way these changes have impacted students, we decided to ask teachers about how they have been looking after student well-being. 


Spanish 1/2 teacher Robert Cone (Photo Provided by Robert Cone)

“Adding the burden of remote learning can put [unnecessary] stress onto an already stressful situation. To mitigate these emotional challenges, as their teacher, I’ve made the [decision] to be as flexible as I can when accepting late work for full credit. I will not penalize them for issues that are beyond their control. Being as flexible as I possibly can [with] my classroom policies without sacrificing the challenge aspect of the class is a balancing act that I believe ultimately will help students get through these difficult times,” Cone said. 





International Baccalaureate (IB) Theory of Knowledge, IB English Higher Level 1 and English 10 accelerated teacher Kalie Espinoza. (Lucia Rivera)

“I try to do a fun activity on Fridays. So far the crowd favorite [activity] has been ‘Would You Rather?’ This gives students a chance to decompress and enjoy socializing for a few minutes. Most importantly, I frequently do student wellness check-ins where I ask how students are doing, where their stress is coming from [and] how my class compares with others. I then try to message any students who seem to be struggling more than others.  A perfect solution [does not exist], but all of these [methods] together seem to be helping,” Espinoza said. 






Integrated Mathematics 3 and International Baccalaureate Math Analysis & Approaches Standard Level 1 teacher Esmeralda Orozco (Lucia Rivera)

“One thing I am doing is a weekly check-in [on a] Google Form in which I ask students how their week went. I use a funny “on a scale of [this to that] how is your day” with pictures of cats, Baby Yoda or anything I can find online. I ask them a reflective question or ask them what they are doing to take care of themselves. I add an optional question at the end of the form [where I ask], “Is there anything Mrs. Orozco should be aware of?” This has helped me connect with students and remind them that my priorities are [number one], student well-being and [number two], learning math,” Orozco said. 





Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Honors Chemistry teacher Jeffery Rivera (Photo provided by Jeffery Rivera)

“The last thing I want is for students to feel that they need to log in to the ‘talking head.’ I take the same approach as I would if we were in class. I always have music to welcome them in; it’s different every day. [The list ranges from] Led Zeppelin, [to] Beyonce [and] The Supremes. The best response in the chat room was the day I played Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline.’ I also like to tell stories and joke around, usually at my own expense; it breaks up the monotony. For the time they are with me, I want them to feel welcome and like we are ‘hanging out’ but just happen to be talking chemistry,” Rivera said.