Student Story: Students Are Adapting To Virtual Learning

 By: Alex Pieretti, Egg Harbor Township High School Communications Academy

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. — With schools across the nation forced to close their doors due to the coronavirus, school districts are making a switch to remote learning; however, many are wondering how students are expected to keep up with their work when they are overwhelmed with their normal routines. But, what some people may not know, is that many students are more than happy to be learning from home. 

“Online schooling, while different, is quite enjoyable. I prefer a hands-on experience, but I feel that in a way it is preparing me for college and the real world, and to be responsible for my work without being told to do it every day,” Logan Brown, a senior at Egg Harbor Township High School, said. 

When students have to go to school, they usually have to get up at the crack of dawn, causing students to walk in tired and miserable. Students also are constantly switching classes and dealing with a rotating schedule, but with remote learning, this isn’t the case. While working from home students have the opportunity to work in the comfort of their own the whole time, and can even sleep a little bit longer. 

“I prefer remote learning because it allows me to sleep in, and I’m able to work in the comfort of my room at my desk, or I outside if the weather permits it,” EHTHS junior Haley Reinhard said.

Riley Pieretti, completing school work, March 25. Photo credit: Alex Pieretti.

While working in a classroom setting, students must work at the pace of the other students and the teacher, which is difficult for those who have trouble understanding certain topics. This uncomfortable learning pace can cause students to stress out over their work and deadlines. Working from home, however, allows students to work at their own pace, removing or reducing the stress factor for students. 

“Working from home takes away the stress of school work because I can work at my own pace instead of the pace of the whole class,” EHTHS sophomore, Kaila Von Ellingtton explained.

With an early call time, and kids wanting to sleep later, students are bound to arrive to class late. Students are also likely to walk in late when they need to get across the school and navigate through crowded halls within five minutes. While working from home students can sleep in a little later as opposed to waking up at the crack of dawn. 

“I no longer have to worry about walking into class late, because the class is in my room, which I’m usually in anyways, and if not there better not be hundreds of people between me and my room,” Austin Rippy, a sophomore from EHTHS, said.

Learning from home requires students and families to have access to a computer or phone, as well as internet access, but not every family is fortunate to have such things at home. If students don’t have these things, they could have difficulty completing their assignments. To help students and families, Egg Harbor Township school district is loaning out Chromebooks to everyone that needs a device, in order to keep up with their studies. “The schools recently called every student’s house and was taking a survey of those who had an electronic device, those who had internet, and those that would be interested in coming to pick up a Chromebook for their children,” Kristi Reider, a teacher in the EHT school district, explained.

Teachers are also fearing that students will fall behind or just not fully understand the assignments without a teacher there to help. Not every student learns in the same way, some people can look at an assignment and understand what is expected, but others require visuals or a face to face interaction with their teacher. Some teachers are at home and posting links to hold a live video chat between them and their students. “I’ve recently started experimenting with Google Meet to answer my students’ questions while still providing some interaction with their teacher,” Reider stated, “These are stressful times, and we do not only make sure that our families are okay, but we need to make sure our students are doing alright during all this.”

With everyone trapped in their homes, people are isolated from the outside world and aren’t able to see their friends that they normally would during the school day. Not having any social interactions can lead to higher stress levels as well as a feeling of loneliness, but how are students supposed to see each other to prevent this? “Google Meet allows me to see my students, but the students can see each other as well. It’s almost like we were back in the classroom, but from the comfort of our own homes,” Reider explained. 

Although students are still distraught about the fact that they can’t partake in extracurricular activities, for the time being at least, they are adjusting to virtual instruction quite well. Students can sleep a little more and are living a life with lower stress levels, allowing them to focus more on their work. Also, students can learn in an environment that suits their individual needs, or in a way that they feel comfortable. As the days go on, schools all across the country are working hard on new ways to improve upon virtual classrooms, but for now, students and staff are doing the best they can with the hand that they were dealt.

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