I will never forget how COVID impacted education. I still remember getting the email from my principal around late February or early March in 2020 about the school being closed temporarily due to several Covid-19 cases in the building.
It went from being closed for a few days, to a week, to the remainder of the school year. For the next year and a half, schools were working on how to incorporate virtual learning in the curriculum.
Although this event was meant to help our children, in the long run, it really took a toll on most of them. Being that it was so unexpected, the principal informed us to hold one weekly Google Meet with our classes to talk about the assignment issued for that week.
If students had a passing grade, their grades would remain at a good standing for the year. If their grades were bad, then doing these assignments would raise them. Looking from the outside in, this scenario may seem like a student’s dream come true.
But in reality, once students got wind that if their grade was a C or higher, their efforts to excel in their academics declined, significantly. By the end of April, many students expressed how they were becoming depressed or lonely from being in the house all day due to COVID.
Kids not being able to go to school greatly impacted their daily social interactions. When the next school year started we begun with virtual classes.
It was terrible but we made it work the best we could. Most students were not paying attention when they logged in to their classes and being that they had the option to not turn their cameras on made it even worse.
Kids were still in bed, on cell phones or playing the video games. Others were watching their younger siblings or had some sort of distraction that caused them not to focus on the lecture.
I won’t use the narrative that every kid was off task because we had a lot of kids that were focused. I’d say the ratio of focused students to distracted students was 40/60.
This caused for hybrid learning the following semester. It was good to have a small percentage of the student population back in the building.
However, for teachers it was a hassle at times talking to a classroom of students and kids on the computer at the same time. When the kids returned back to school the 21-22 school year, it was like re-teaching them everything over again but as this year progresses, students are getting back into their groove.
We still have a ways to go but things will get better. The pandemic taught me to not take things for granted because you never know when they can be taken away from you, even simple things such as going to the store or your school.
The teacher/administration staffs worked hard and tirelessly to make sure students got the best experiences possible virtually doing this time. They deserve major praise for their efforts.
And most importantly, students deserve praise as well for sticking it out during these trying times.