Pandemic Professors take on teaching
The pandemic of COVID-19 was a trying time for everyone. For professors, teaching was very difficult. Although, the difficulties bred innovation and adaptation. In 2020, Central Oregon Community College had abruptly switched to online teaching within one to two weeks; switching to online/remote classes was an unexpected and abrupt process surrounded by fear and uncertainty.
Andria Woodell, a professor at COCC since 2004, was taking classes to become proficient at teaching online classes when the lockdown hit. Within a week, she had switched her whole teaching format to online learning – a process that was supposed to take months. Her last in-person school event was the Student Showcase of 2020-2021. She described it as “eerie,” like the calm before the storm.
For Woodell, teaching students remotely was incredibly difficult. She quickly dropped her teaching format that she had utilized for the past 16 years. However, Woodell found that she was able to achieve the teaching style she had been wanting to switch over to for years. She had posted lectures online for students to learn during their own time, and spent class periods doing check-ins and discussing different subjects relevant to the class.
In September 2022, Woodell began teaching in-person classes again, which she hadn’t experienced since early 2020. Instead of continuing a stricter classroom setting like she did before the lockdown, she converted a “flipped-classroom format” to an in-person class. This meant students reviewed the lectures, and class time was spent discussing the content and completing activities. Woodell described this process as “taking a risk in the classroom… what I (she) wanted to do for years.”
While the pandemic and lockdown shocked the community and COCC, faculty and students alike reacted and adapted to this change. In 2021, new professors had not even set foot on the campus – teaching entirely remotely for their first years at COCC. While the pandemic and lockdown shocked the community and COCC, this 2022 school year is a new experience for all those teaching and attending. Emerging from a pandemic spanning the length of several years, community members have adapted and are more eager to learn, grow and teach.