Hands on classes use creativity to surpass virtual boundaries


Illustration by Aubrey Palaganas

Abby McKew and Madeline Hussey

Many people are feeling anxious and struggling in this new e-learning environment. But for some people in traditional, hands-on classes, the struggle is even greater.  

Junior Coco del Muro, Introduction to Teaching student, was disappointed that she would not be able to work directly with the preschoolers this year, especially because she would have had more leadership opportunities. Changes couldn’t have been done any differently because child development is a hands-on class, del Muro added. 

“[In Introduction to Teaching] we have more control over what the kids do,” del Muro said. “They are planning Zooms with teachers that have Preschool-age kids, but you can’t be in person with the kids.”

Child development wasn’t the only elective impacted by e-learning. Sophomore Shae Hussey, Med-Tech student, said it has been difficult adjusting Med-Tech through online learning. 

“It is a lot harder to do some of the labs at home because we don’t have the right tools,” Hussey said. “We are missing out on doing certain things that we would do in class. For example, we were going to do bypass surgery a few weeks ago but because we are at home we couldn’t do it.”

Hussey was looking forward to taking Med-Tech and she was upset that she won’t be able to get the full experience that comes with taking this elective. 

“We wanted to do the course because we wanted to learn more about everything medical-related,” Hussey said. “How are we supposed to be practicing suturing at our house if we don’t have the right materials?”

Med-Tech is a hard course to take online because it requires a lot of equipment, Hussey said. These changes couldn’t have been done any differently, and she wishes that there were more online practice for skills like suturing. 

“It is hard for this course because a lot of people who are taking it don’t have the right equipment like needles and knives to cut things,” Hussey said. “It’s also hard with the teacher not being with you because we can’t ask a lot of questions or ask for help with sutures.” 

Junior Rachel Buchanan, Teaching Internship student, is more optimistic about doing child development in this new e-learning environment, as opposed to last spring. 

“I think virtual teaching is a really good solution because [last spring we] made videos that were sent out, but this is on  Zoom and live, which is going to be really exciting and cool,” Buchanan said. “So, I think it’s a good idea and I’m very excited for it.”

In normal circumstances, the main part of Teaching Internship is going to an elementary school and to teach students and help out in classrooms, but as an alternative this year, Teaching Internship is hosting Zooms for the kids. The parents of kids will sign up for Zoom timeslots, and Buchanan, alongside a partner, will teach the students different themed mini-lessons. 

“I’ll be teaching a lesson on friendship and kindness with my partner,” Buchanan explained. 

Buchanan, Hussey and del Muro are all disappointed that their classes this semester aren’t what they expected, but Buchanan was able to maintain a positive attitude that leaves her hopeful for the future to come. 

“I’m bummed that I’m not going to be able to go to a classroom and teach, but I’m really fortunate enough that I still have another year next year [and] hopefully I’ll be able to do the teaching internship next year,” Buchanan said.