Staples should increase student-teacher interaction through mandatory online conferences


Photo by Chloe Murray ’22

Google Meet or Google Hangout are currently the most popular platforms that teachers are using at Staples High School. While some teachers use them frequently, others continue to post assignments to schoology, depriving students of the face-to-face interaction that they are used to.

A few months ago, nobody could have expected how coronavirus would impact our lives here in Westport. One might have expected that it would eventually hit the United States, after traveling across Asia, then through Europe. However, most people certainly did not see full-time online schooling and quarantining on the agenda for April 2020. 

Online schooling is something new for everyone, and it is definitely difficult to navigate due to everyone’s lack of experience with the concept. However, people have been forced to adjust quickly, and for many people, online school has posed a challenge academically because of the lack of student-teacher interaction. Online conferences for all academic classes should therefore be mandatory at Staples, because these conferences offer the face-to-face learning style that many students need.

Schools all across the country are using Zoom and other video-chat platforms for all classes. Although I am using these platforms for some classes, the majority of my assignments are worksheets, videos and readings. These methods of teaching simply don’t provide the same learning experience to students as lessons from a teacher. 

Student-teacher interaction is essential for many people. I have found that one of the most frustrating things about online school is the inability to ask a quick question when I do not understand something, especially in classes such as math and chemistry where concepts need a sufficient amount of explanation. 

Mandatory classes would ensure that concepts are taught as students are used to, and everyone is able to ask questions if need be without having to wait an extended period of time for an emailed response. 

Additionally, although many students at Staples have the self-motivation to do their work and stay on top of their assignments, there are undoubtedly people who lack this same drive. Mandatory attendance to online calls would help keep these students on track with their assignments, and ensure that they don’t fall behind.

Mandatory attendance to online calls would help keep these students on track with their assignments, and ensure that they don’t fall behind. 


These conferences would only benefit the student; they don’t call for a larger quantity of work, it would simply ensure that the work we do is taught by a teacher and students obtain the same knowledge as they would at school. 

Online learning is a very difficult adjustment for everyone, and it is the administration’s job to make this transition easier for students and teachers. I truly believe that enforcing all teachers to hold online conferences would make for a much calmer and more structured day for both parties, and the administration should thus make this mandatory for all academic classes.