Student’s reactions to first week of new virtual learning schedule

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Molly Spychalski

Claire Cady, Reporter

The second round of all virtual learning has kicked off last week, and is going well for students and teachers. This was not going to be easy, as people in general need human interactions daily, and school was a good way to get that. As expected, there are mixed feelings about being all virtual since students learn in different ways and thrive in different environments.

Spanish teacher Ms. Lauren Palmer shared her thoughts about missing in person learning. She said, “What I miss most about in person learning is seeing my students in person and getting to chat with them and make personal connections.” Most students miss in-school learning because they like to see their friends and they excel in their learning when they’re in the classroom, as it can be easier to focus when you’re in that specific setting. It can also give them motivation to do their work, which students struggle with now sitting at home with distractions at every angle. Junior Alex Gantz, who prefers hybrid learning, said, “I prefer hybrid because I love being able to learn comfortably at home, but I feel like being at school helps to keep me focused and see my friends.” In addition, being in school can be much easier for students to get help from teachers. Being on a Google Meet, unmuting yourself to ask questions can be scary. Some students say it’s worse than standing up in front of the class in school to talk.

Finding the strength to wake up before class can be tough, as all virtual classes almost seem optional to students because they’re normal routine has been altered. Freshman Annelise Sims said, “I’ll admit it’s hard to wake up and be productive most days, but I get up around 7:40 and do my usual morning routine then log in.” Some students like sophomore Davis Falcon usually eat breakfast in the first passing period and get up right before class starts.

One thing that is different about this all virtual schedule compared to the last one in the 2019-2020 school year is the need to join Google Meets throughout the day. Falcon said, “In terms of academics it’s better and easier to learn this year, but personally I preferred the one over the spring as work could be done at my own pace, and I didn’t have to stare at the Google meet for six hours every day.” One key factor to this new schedule is less classes per day, which is “very helpful for me to not get bored and stay organized,” said Sims. Fewer classes can cause students to feel less stressed in these trying times.

Since kids from other schools are learning from home, there could potentially be trouble with staying focused. Having siblings try to use WiFi, as well as parents can be a struggle. Gantz said, “I have a brother, and both of my parents work at home to show our Wi-Fi struggles. It is extremely frustrating when I get kicked out of the Google meet.” Falcon has 2 younger siblings, and has to help them out during the day. He said, “They struggle more than me so I often have to help them out and listen to them complain which is annoying.” Most students do work in their bedrooms, so it is easier to concentrate on their work with less distractions.

Students’ sleep schedules have also changed dramatically when switching to all online. Typically, students say they go to bed later, but in turn get to wake up later. The amount of sleep a student gets can really change a great deal per night.

Students also miss seeing their friends, which can be hard for them as sometimes being with someone can be motivation in itself. One thing that has not been taken away is sports, keeping students upbeat and giving them the ability to have human interaction during this tough period of their lives.