As sad as it is to say, distance learning has become a normal part of our lives at St. John’s. We have almost completed our second full month of distance learning and as we all know it has been no easy task.
Mr. Cooper is no stranger to the struggle of distance learning. He admits that he is “the least of all faculty members with tech skills” which has made this quite the adjustment for him.
Mr. Cooper has no WiFi connection in his home which creates additional struggles. That being said, the St. John’s technology department has made sure to help him get as adjusted.
Mr. Cooper has been sending out a relatively similar amount of work online as he would if he was in the classroom, he posts around 1 or 2 videos a week for his classes and posts about one reflection/writing assignment as well. He says he is happy to wrap us this year because he was able to get to know his students so well, but is wary to the idea of starting next year with a class of “strangers”. He believes that the spiritual journey of teacher and student is very important and worries that this won’t be able to happen as well over a computer.
Mr. Cooper teaches religion, so he also raises the question “is it possible to grow and teach a spiritual connection via technology?” He believes that though it may be possible to teach a class such as history or science, it is much harder to teach a class based in faith without being together in the presence of God. Though this has been an overwhelming time for us all and a difficult adjustment, Mr. Cooper has taken this time to grow in his faith while also managing to stay on top of his lessons. As he would say, “Jesus loves you.”