Online School Interview: Señora Forero


Emory Pittman, Print Editor

With COVID-19 limiting our ability to go to school and have face-to-face interactions with our teachers, the Eagle Examiner has decided to interview some of them during this tough time to see how they’re doing while social distancing! This week, I interviewed Señora Forero, the high school Spanish teacher.


  • How many classes do you teach per day?

I have a variety: I have a one-class day, three days of two classes, and one day with three classes.



  • How have you adapted to online classes?

The hardest part of the online classes has been to be isolated without the interactions with my students. I have a lovely relation to most of them (I believe), and at the beginning, I felt that I was not going to be able to reach them online. But during these days, I have learned about resilience from them. They have come to my class smiling and happy, and everybody has raised the bar in everything we have done. I have not had any whining, only commitment. They have been sympathetic and tolerant of my little technology skills and bring me joy every day. Overall, this experience has been the antidote to the uncertainty and anxiety of not being able to reach my family if needed, but I have found peace in my daily contacts with the children and instead of being isolated I have found something better: to be better together (with the help of Zoom).



  • With all of your extra free time in quarantine, have you picked up any new hobbies?

What extra free time? I am always on the computer checking homework, checking exams, and most importantly answering a lot of emails, providing ongoing feedback that the students require day and night, like an owl. Just joking, I don’t have a new hobby, but I am trying to read the books that were piling up on my night table.



  • What movie/TV streaming service do you use to fill your free time?

I am not a movie person, but I think Netflix is the one most used in my house. It has good documentaries.



  • Have you ever been exposed to online learning before?

Yes, when I did my licensure to be a teacher, I took most of my classes online.



  • What part of your house do you teach your classes from?

The kitchen.



  • How has it affected your daily routine?

The good part is that I can have lunch with my husband, talk to my grandkids in the morning, and check on my daughter and mother all day long. There are no bad parts.



  • Has this interfered with your daily life outside of the classroom?

Not at all.



  • How has this altered your relationship with your students?

I think we are still on good terms. I have not been able to feed their candy cravings, but we have a very good relationship. Something that has surprised me is that many students have lost the fear of participating in class. I love this! I am listening to the voices of some students that I have to challenge a lot in class, but now they feel confident and uninhibited. Everybody looks happy and committed. It is a work in progress, but I am planning to implement oral tests online, individually or in small groups (in the near future). 



  • What would you change about online teaching if you could?

I am not in my comfort zone, and although I feel I am doing a pretty good job keeping the students engaged in routine work, I don’t have the tools to assess their learning the way I do it in class. I don’t think about online education as a simple substitute for the face to face. It has to be something that improves the experience and the learning, and I need to do more research on this, just to learn and find different ways to improve myself. I also feel that I need more time with my students although I have devoted a lot of time to providing ongoing feedback. Is this ongoing feedback enough? I don’t think so. It is just enough for this moment in time when we have to do the best we can? Yes, I think so. I would like to have resources that are geared towards online work and can be used also in face to face learning. For example, in Spanish 4 we have material to always work online if we want. The students are permanently exposed to different ways of learning the material. The teacher works as a catalyst to their experience, guiding, expanding, and reinforcing.



  • Any final thoughts?

Finally, cheers to all the administrators who guide us and support and understand our human weaknesses. Following your examples and directions is so easy because I know it is always making us more human.