AP Teacher’s View on eLearning

AP+Art+History+teacher+William+Renninger+reveals+his+biggest+eLearning+struggle%3A+lack+of+control.+Renninger+stated+that+it+was+very+hard+for+him+to+be+flexible+when+it+comes+to+his+students+and+their+classwork.+

Lily Riopelle

AP Art History teacher William Renninger reveals his biggest eLearning struggle: lack of control. Renninger stated that it was very hard for him to be flexible when it comes to his students and their classwork.

Samantha Macuare, Staffer

AP Art History teacher William Renninger shares his feelings about distance learning. Renninger has been teaching for 25 years and teaches 200 students. 

Q: “What are your favorite things about teaching?” 

A: “I love encouraging students to open their minds. I firmly believe that the teacher can make or break a subject. It is my job to get kids excited about all the things that art history includes religion, politics, culture, geography, etc.  

Q: “What have been the biggest adjustments for you in moving to distance learning? How has that affected you and your students?”  

A: “Biggest adjustment: lack of control. As a perfectionist, it is a struggle to be flexible. The highly motivated students will be fine. Slackers can, unfortunately, get away with putting in minimal effort.  

Q: “What are some advantages that come with distance learning? Both anticipated and unforeseen advantages?”  

A: “I have the time to create Kahoot! games and Quizlets, which are both great resources. I also like the ability to assign quizzes and essays on Edsby. The ability to give immediate feedback via an Edsby message is very useful.  

Q: “What are some disadvantages that have come with distance learning?”  

A: “Some kids just need the structure of a traditional classroom to stay motivated. I do Zoom classes twice per day and reliably get 100120 kids per day. What are the other 80100 kids doing? I have no idea. The district does not allow teachers to make the Zoom classes mandatory, so kids can just turn in the daily classwork and earn a passing grade.  

Q: “Do you think there are particular challenges that AP teachers and students both face?”  

A: “My biggest challenge is keeping kids focused and motivated for the exam in a few weeks. For students, they are going to have to demonstrate 35 weeks of learning in two essay questions. That is scary.  

Q: “Has this experience taught you anything about teaching or just life in general?” 

A: “It has reminded me that good teachers can adapt to anything. I’ll bet your best teachers in a classroom setting are still your best teachers during a quarantine. I’ve tried a bunch of new things; some have worked, some have flopped. That’s learning. It’s also the only way to get better. This experience has reminded my daily how lucky I am from my wife, to my town, to my job. I’ve been able to stay busy, fulfilled and happy so far.