Skip to content Skip to navigation

Photo of campus architecture

Student Stories

Anna Perry

Photo of Anna Perry

Anna Perry

The foundation for distance learning: building community

I had just found my “groove” as a teacher and was starting to have fun with teaching and not always worrying about how I was applying the different things I was learning this year! Suddenly, I’m trying to plan engaging lessons for online learning without knowing the learning environment my 33 students are in at home. I’m trying to stay connected, worrying as they tell me about their troubles and concerns and drastically changed sleep schedules. I think that’s been the hardest. How do I support students when I can’t physically do anything to help? 

Overall, the one thing I’ve taken away from this pandemic is the absolute necessity of building a strong community in a classroom. I don’t think online learning would be going as well for me as a student or as a teacher if I hadn’t had the chance to build community before the schools closed. My students already know they can trust me, so they are more comfortable opening up, asking for help, or even admitting they missed class because they overslept. I don’t even know what this online learning would look like if there wasn’t a strong community foundation to support it. 

Anna Perry is a master’s student in Stanford’s teacher education program. She teaches U.S. history at Fremont High School in Sunnyvale, California.

June 1, 2020

More stories

Photo of Ana Trindade Ribeiro
Field work in the time of social distancing

Ana Trindade Ribeiro

As a social person, I admit that working from home and social distancing hasn't been easy on me or my field research. Still, I was lucky to be able to redesign one project—investigating how a...

Keep Reading
Read this story
Photo of Daniela Gamboa
“An opportunity to rethink the role of the school”

Daniela Gamboa

My husband and I decided to stay in our studio in Escondido Village when the shelter-in-place was announced. We believed our time at Stanford was not finished yet. Even though we miss our family...

Keep Reading
Read this story
Photo of Joshua Jordan
Focusing on what comes next: meeting students’ social-emotional needs

Joshua Jordan

Over spring break, a group of us in POLS began meeting over Zoom, since we missed each other. As the long-term implications of COVID-19 began to crystalize, we considered how our former students,...

Keep Reading
Read this story

Get the Educator

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

Back to the Top