Essay: School isn’t as educational not being in the classroom with teachers
By Akshaj Mehta
I like school. I’ve always been a good student and eager to learn, but distance learning really took the joy and excitement out of education for me. And even though I understand why we need to start school online during the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m not looking forward to my fall classes, which started Aug. 6.
Since preschool, going to school meant meeting friends and learning from teachers. It was great. However this year—from the beginning of April until the end of May—I was distraught. I found that I cannot fully learn and grasp material through distance learning.
My classes consisted almost entirely of assignments on Google classroom due by 11:59 p.m. Sunday. I have those words practically burned into my brain. Distance learning seemed endlessly routine, with no thrill. I would have an essay due Sunday, a few days would pass and I’d finish it. I turned it in, and my grade went up by 2%. Normally, I would be proud, but I felt nothing.
Learning at home was very lenient so what was the problem? Reflecting on those months, I now realize it was because there was not any teacher interaction. Learning through videos and virtual assignments was not the same.
“I would have an essay due Sunday, a few days would pass and I’d finish it. I turned it in, and my grade went up by 2%. Normally, I would be proud, but I felt nothing.”
I was excited to finish my freshman year of high school strong, with good grades, and I did achieve that, but I did not feel accomplished.
But this was not teachers’ fault at all. They really did the best job they could. They were thrown into distance learning and had to figure everything out on the fly. The curriculum was great, some of the assignments were fun and they tried to keep everyone engaged through videos, etc. But it just wasn’t the same. Not being on campus with classmates and teachers to create face-to-face learning could just not be matched on the computer.
Props to teachers for keeping the same peppy attitude throughout when students could not. Unfortunately, they never got to see us truly shine at the end of the year. They never really had a chance to talk one on one with us, and they never got to see how much we really learned.
For some students, there are positives to distance learning. It is a great solution for those who can concentrate better at home; with less pressure than at school, they can learn more. The schedules are flexible; teachers were totally understanding if you had other responsibilities and were not able to do an assignment on time.
Overall, I have mixed feelings on schools not opening this fall for in-classroom learning. I completely understand why as it is necessary for the safety of students, teachers and staff. I am hoping for the best because I understand that education is the key to not just my future, but all students’.
One fact will stay true throughout everything: No matter what happens, students must be prepared and to adapt to whatever may come.