Students Return to the Classroom After a Full Year of Virtual School

With life going back to normal and kids coming back to school, online learning is no longer an option. For a majority of students, this isn’t a big change but for some, this is their first time back since March 2020. Some students are excited to be back at school because online learning was difficult for them.

“Back when I was online, I was barely engaged. We were kinda put to the side with all the other virtual students while the in-class people got to engage in lessons,” Evie Vanderark ‘23 said. “There are so many more distractions at home, and school [at home] feels 10x harder mentally and emotionally.”

Online learning was a struggle for students because they practically lived in their bedrooms and didn’t have much interaction with fellow classmates. “The biggest difference between online and in-person learning is the environment. Being online, I went to school, did my homework, studied, and slept all in the same room,” Miya Sá ‘23 said. “I felt kind of trapped and also like the days were never-ending.’’

I felt kind of trapped and also like the days were never-ending.”

— Mia Sà ‘23

Virtual learning also created a lack of stability in many students’ lives. By not being in person, it was easier for students to fall behind in learning and made it more difficult for students to get help from teachers when they were struggling. “Personally, I am fine with online not being an option this year. I think being able to physically interact with teachers and your friends helps provide stability in your school life,” Sá said.

While some students disliked online classes and are glad to be back in person, some wish online classes were still an option. “I still wish there was an online option because kids are coming into school visibly sick and not wearing masks,” Skylar Boukamp ‘23 said.

In-person learning being the only option this year has created a better and engaging learning environment for students. Students are able to work together and do more hands-on learning. “I love how engaged I am now in my classes, and online I really appreciated the autonomy (until it wasn’t fun)” Vanderark said.

The social aspect of school is important for students and with that being taken away it made it difficult for students and they missed that aspect of school.

“I chose to come back in person this year because I missed the social aspect of learning,” Sá said. “I wouldn’t call myself a really social person, but hearing teachers talk in-person, getting handouts in class (instead of having to print them at home), and little happenings that occur throughout the day are all things I took for granted.”

Last year’s virtual students are excited to be back in school, with a more interactive and normal environment. A year on Zoom was difficult, but kids are now able to attend school and walk the halls with a returning sense of normalcy.