Dear Teacher: What Have We Learned about Online Work in Class?

The daily rhythms and expectations in classrooms across the country were well-defined, having been established year after year for generations. Then, COVID-19 upended America’s educational landscape. Our normal classrooms and experiences didn’t exist anymore, and we had to build a new airplane while flying it. Students grappled with challenges on several fronts: navigating online learning, mitigating distractions on their phones, and coping with profound social isolation. Soft skills like time management and self-control were stress-tested as TVs, video games, and the option to simply click the “mute” button and walk away from the class proved ever-present temptations. Our student panelists hope to share their learning experiences during the pandemic, discuss important topics they would like prioritized such as student choice, the mental health of students, and different methods of teaching and learning. Join us for a conversation with teachers and students as they explore what we have learned this year and what they hope to experience as they all return to the classrooms this coming school year.



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About the Presenter

Barrett Doke, Presenter
Barrett Doke has taught middle and high school social studies in Houston ISD and currently teaches 8th grade history at T.H. Rogers School. He also supports pre-service teachers at Rice as an education technology content specialist.

About the Panelists

Aster O'Leary graduated from Rice in May 2020 with her BA in History and her Texas Teaching Certificate. She currently teaches 7th Grade American History at Achievement First Aspire Middle School in Brooklyn, New York.

Anton Bogdanov is an 8th grader who attends T.H. Rogers Middle School in person. He is a very social person, and a natural leader who takes great interest in getting tasks done properly. He is involved in a running club, chess club, Jiu Jitsu, and enjoys working out.

Arnav Jain is an 8th grader who has been attending T.H. Rogers virtually for this past year. He is a great leader who enjoys using those skills to lead many camps through the school year and over the summer (He has directed over 20 camps in 2020). In his free time, he likes to revel in many extracurricular activities including: Chess, Math Competitions, Science Fairs, Cricket clubs, Soccer, Astronomy club, coding, Spelling Bee, Swimming, Baking, Theatre clubs, Bowling, and continues to learn more.

Becky Nguyen is an 8th grader at T.H. Rogers, who has remained in remote learning throughout the pandemic. When it doesn't involve school, she loves experimenting with visual arts and music.

Cynthia Kong is an 8th grader at T.H. Rogers. She has done virtual school until March and is doing in-person school now. She participates in many extracurricular activities including swimming, debate and viola.

Ella Theurer is an 8th grader at T.H. Rogers school. She has attended classes virtually since the start of the pandemic. Outside of school, Ella enjoys playing the violin and singing.

Han Nguyen is an 8th grader at T.H. Rogers, she has remained as a remote learning student ever since the pandemic. Outside of school she likes to play the piano, and she always tries to learn new things.

Jatin Presse is an 8th grader attending T.H. Rogers. He has been attending school virtually since the start of the pandemic. Outside of school, he enjoys activities such as tennis, chess, debate, cross country, and working on his tennis machine rental business (TBM rentals).

Mia Zilberman has been attending T.H. Rogers since Kindergarten and is currently an 8th grade student. During the pandemic, Mia has been present in-person at school, since the middle of October. Outside of school, Mia enjoys playing tennis.

Rishabh Sharma has been attending T.H. Rogers since 3rd grade, and is currently an 8th grade student. During the pandemic, Rishabh has been virtual for seventh and eighth grade. Outside of school, Rishabh is a national athlete in squash (reached top 10 in the United States), loves to write and wrote a book, travels around the world whenever possible, and participates in multiple activities outside of school.

Rahul Sanklecha has been attending T.H.Rogers since 6th grade and is currently an 8th grade student. He has gone to school virtually for the past school year. Aside from school, he enjoys participating in competitive math competitions such as MATHCOUNTS, MOEMS, and AMC 8/10.

Rajni Nitturi is an 8th grader at T.H. Rogers. During the pandemic, Rajni has been a remote student and attends her classes virtually. She enjoys teaching her history teacher chess during office hours, loves to do Taekwondo, and write creative stories for her website.

Ramya Elangovan is a seventh-grader and serves as the Vice President of the Student Council Executive Board at T.H. Rogers School. She has experience serving as a Teaching Assistant for seven middle school courses while attending classes virtually. In a broad array of extracurricular pursuits, Ramya’s accolades include the following: Chess (2018 National Champion, U10 Girls and US Representative for World Cadets Chess Championships), Science Fair (2021 Grand Award in SEFH, Jacob’s Science Explorer Award from NASA, Award of Excellence from GCSTG, 1st place in TXSEF, Best in the State of Texas Award, Broadcom MASTERS Nominee), and Spelling (2020 and 2021 HISD Champion, 2021 Houston PBS Spelling Bee Champion, 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee National Finalist)



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