NTI Days Get Mixed Reactions from Teachers, Students

Kylie Caruthers

Last week at Paducah Tilghman High School, we had a few non-traditional instruction (NTI) days due to bad weather. During quarantine, the school system came up with a way to do online schooling, which is beneficial to teachers and students to this day because we can continue our education while not physically at school. 

I interviewed one of Tilghman’s math teachers, Leo McKinley, about some of his opinions on doing online school and the affects it has on curriculum.

“Since I teach math, I feel like I must stop the momentum because there are certain things you must do in person for [students] to catch on. Online you can’t physically see the content ‘clicking.’ Also, some people will hop on the meeting and not actually be there, whereas in person you don’t have to worry about it,” Mr. McKinely said.

Not being in person does take away some opportunity for questions and understanding content. Even from a teacher standpoint it is noticeable. Another thing is the presence of peers being around you for eight hours. As a student I feel as if I learn just as much from the students around me as I do from the teachers.

Mr. McKinley agreed, “I enjoyed this one because it was February and it was nice to have a break, but after around two days I was ready to see everyone. It is also just a lot of extra work.”

Teachers also thrive on teacher-student interaction, because if they’re anything like McKinley, they care about their students’ educations. 

From a student’s point of view the curriculum isn’t on our priority list, so when we have a couple of extra days at home the pace slows.

Erica Wurth (10) agrees with it being nice for students. “I like doing school at home because most of the time it’s easier and there’s much less work, so I have a lot of free time,” she said. However, some advanced classes don’t slow the pace during NTI days, so learning the curriculum at home can be challenging. “It is more difficult to grasp concepts at home because it’s harder to ask questions but not too bad,” Wurth said.