Many teachers at the high school teach only certain grades and therefore do not have a mix of upper and underclassmen in their classes. Psychology classes, however, have students from 10-12 and are very popular. Mr. Longwell, the teacher of these classes, gets the opportunity to teach a diverse group of students each year, and he is well-liked by many of his students.
Kylie Karam (‘20), who has Mr. Longwell for both AP Psych and Academic Government this semester, said, “He has always tried to include fun activities to keep the learning process light, but informative.”
In his classroom, Mr. Longwell has movie posters hanging on the walls, many of which relate to psychology. In his lessons, he often brings up these or other movies and different examples students know of to illustrate the concepts he teaches.
Before remote learning, Mr. Longwell’s style was to have students work on a note packet outside of class and then cover the terms and questions in class. According to Sarah Taylor (‘21), “Online it changed to do the work and watch a video of him covering it, so I don’t think much has changed.” Kylie seemed to agree, saying, “He has really tried his best to keep a similar teaching style . . . I like that he has kept up with a consistent workload: not too much, not too little.”
Not only has Mr. Longwell kept his teaching style constant, he is always available for his students when they need him. “I think [that] response wise Mr. Longwell is phenomenal,” Sarah said. “If I emailed him late at night or on a weekend he would respond to me immediately and even ask about life and if everything is ok. I think this shows he cares about the students and genuinely just wants people to be ok.”
One factor that online learning is missing is the classroom environment. Video calls are not the same as in-class discussions, and there are no better substitutes. Therefore, Sarah thinks that “[Mr. Longwell] did the best he could and that classroom environment isn’t as important now as just a little bit of normalcy and a support system.”
Overall, Mr. Longwell is available to his students whenever they need help, and he has been doing a great job of keeping his classes steady with the adjustment to online. As we near the end of the year, Mr. Longwell can hopefully look back on a job well done!