COVID-19: Its Effect on Students and Learning
These past couple years have felt anything but ordinary. COVID-19 has affected everyone but especially students. We have always been taught to go to school and collaborate with peers from as young as three years old.
Before Covid, some, perhaps many children may have felt that they wanted to be homeschooled. In a way, the universe was listening to their requests. It never occurred to them that there would be a time in which we actually did not have a choice but to learn from home. The pandemic has changed the learning environment tremendously, and it opened the eyes for many students and administrators that school can be done differently than before.
Let’s travel back in time to not so long ago: We were all sitting on Zoom, in our pajamas. We usually sit in a physical classroom with the company of our peers and teachers, but this was extremely different. Now that everyone is back in school, things seem to be getting back to “normal”. However, we will never fully be back to the way things were before. COVID-19 has changed the ways in which we live and learn.
We relied on technology to help us get through such crazy times, and now, we can go back to taking exams on paper. This is an adjustment for students as we have been so used to utilizing and communicating through technology during the pandemic. Both students and teachers have to slowly get back in the groove of regular homework and tests. Although we want to return to how school was prior to COVID-19, teachers are evolving their lesson plans and realizing that technology can play a bigger part in the classroom.
“The transition has been good. I’ve been happy to be seeing my friends everyday and to have all of my classes each day”
Students are also coming to school for the entirety of the day, as opposed to last year where some would be in person for the morning, and some for the afternoon. I asked fellow tenth graders how the transition was from going to school for half the day last year to now going in full time everyday. One student said, “The transition has been good. I’ve been happy to be seeing my friends everyday and to have all of my classes each day”. Having the whole school back is great for the community; it gets everyone involved again in the school itself, but it also makes it easier for students to learn again. Now that classes are physically full of people, students can work in groups and collaborate with one another in class.
“Online school made me more unmotivated to do work because I was sitting at home and not moving around like I do at school from class to class. My time management skills weren’t as good at home, but I have had to manage my time more efficiently now that I am going back to school full time”
Since we were all at home for quite some time, we grew intentional or unintentional habits in these difficult times. For example, being at home can cause plenty of distractions around you when trying to learn on Zoom. This can lead to a less thorough grasp of the material. Also, being at home for half the day could have influenced how much someone procrastinated doing schoolwork or homework. One student related that “Online school made me more unmotivated to do work because I was sitting at home and not moving around like I do at school from class to class. My time management skills weren’t as good at home, but I have had to manage my time more efficiently now that I am going back to school full time”.
“Something I miss about remote school was the longer transition period/lunch, but it’s helped me utilize my free periods more efficiently”
Although online school was definitely a strange occurrence for many, there are some aspects that people could have enjoyed. One peer stated, “Something I miss about remote school was the longer transition period/lunch, but it’s helped me utilize my free periods more efficiently”. More than a few students took advantage of the altered schedule during the pandemic.
At the end of the day, however, the majority surely prefers live teachers and students to homeschooling,