Teachers, let us get off Zoom

Hillsborough County allows us to have more breaks away from the screen, so why do we not receive them?


Meena Vasquez, A&E Editor

Online school is a pain, I know. It’s hard to adjust to technology when your original job consisted of minimal technology in the first place. But teachers, I cannot sit on a Zoom call for seven hours a day. It’s unhealthy, boring and painful.

Teaching and learning online is new and difficult. Even when we started in March, it was still a tough experience to go through. But in hindsight, I loved the original method used to teach eLearning. Teachers would give the assignments, have a Zoom open on some days for questions and then provide a due date for said assignments. Now, I am forced to sit and stare at a screen for seven hours straight with minimal breaks.

When I’m constantly in my Ikea office chair staring at the screen, I hate it. My body hates it. I wish I could leave and do the work assigned me on Canvas. Teachers should open Zoom for questions or people who wish to get an interactive experience. Forcing students to stare at the Zoom can have long-lasting effects on our students.

The blue light coming from the screens strain our eyes so much, and with only five minute breaks between classes, there’s not much we can do about getting a break. Additionally, we are bound to stay in our seats at all times for our classes. There’s not much movement, causing cramps and uncomfortable seating for eLearners. We deserve a break, and doing work outside of Zoom like in March is perfect.

Also, teachers do not have to do a Zoom for the entire class period. The district schedule provides teachers many ways on how to conduct their virtual and in-person classrooms. Many teachers use Zoom every day for students to log onto and act like they’re in an in-person class. But, eLearning does not have to replicate in-seat learning. In-seat learning allows the students to focus on a person, and rarely spend so much time on the screen. They are two entirely different methods of learning and should be treated as such.

The minimum required time for a Zoom every day is only 20 minutes. For traditional, this is only half of the time you have to be in class, giving you another half to step back from the computer and take a break. For IB, this is only a fifth of our class time. I wish I had the rest of the class time to do the work instead of sitting there bored out of my mind.

Overall, I think it’s crucial that teachers provide students a choice to leave the Zoom. It would be better for both the students and the teachers. Students gain a more flexible schedule while teachers have less work to do, and can more focus on their in-person kids.