Professors need our patience and kindness amid transition to online classes

Before today I had a number of different messages I wanted to spread: the hysteria is worse than the disease, the NBA shouldn’t have been suspended, it shouldn’t have taken a pandemic to get people to wash their hands, we shouldn’t be raiding grocery stores, etc. Then a classmate of mine accidentally made my professor cry by asking, “Exactly what are you gonna do about the class since it’s online now?”

My professor started to tear up and repeatedly say they didn’t know. Then the professor said, “You get two extra days of spring break, but I lost all of mine.”

It’s easy to expect your professors to have all the answers, usually they should, but in this case they know just as little as us students. According to my professor, the faculty got the exact same emails as the students and have had the same amount of interaction with administration. Some professors, who hadn’t checked their emails yet, found about the transition to online classes from students.

If you have questions, don’t ask your professors first, ask a member of administration. They had been planning this for several weeks. Much like students, most of what faculty has heard have been rumors. For example, another one of my professors told the students that classes are online the whole semester despite Julie Gaynor, director of marketing and public information, stating that her personal belief is that the classes will revert to face-to-face after a few weeks.

Right now, your professors need your empathy, kindness and, most importantly, your patience. Many professors have not taught online classes before. Unlike most students, some professors are in the age and health range that is actually severely affected by the virus. They have a lot on their plates right now, and it’s our job to make this transition as smooth as possible for them as much as it is their job to do the same for us.

The best thing you can do for yourself, and for your professors, is to stay informed. The Wichitan will continue to provide updates regarding COVID-19, but as a student it is also your right to seek answers from administration. Be informed, don’t panic and be kind.

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