There is no denying that education has been turned upside down amid the coronavirus pandemic. For most of 2020, the once bustling hallways were silent; classes, balls and graduation ceremonies have been canceled or held online, millions of students have been denied the rights of passage that previous generations cherished.
Yahoo Finance spoke to six students at White Plains High School in Westchester County, NY, and got their thoughts on virtual learning, what it was like to go to school with masks on and their hopes for the 2021 school year and beyond.
Evelyn Pardo, Carter Reynolds, Rina Stanghellini and juniors Brian Mulvey, Thiago Guimaraes De Oliveira and Andres Gomez Garcia have been virtual apprenticeships for most of 2020. As the 2021 school year approaches, they are eagerly awaiting a new start. even amid the possible setbacks due to the Delta variant of COVID-19.
“It was difficult to concentrate on school”
When it came to virtual learning, students weren’t fans – and not just for social reasons but also for academics.
Reynolds said learning at home comes with a lot of distractions. “It’s hard for me to work in my home because there are so many other things I can do in my own home. But at school, you sit in a classroom for about 40 minutes and you have to do this one thing. At my house you can do whatever you want, so it was really hard to focus on school, ”he said.
Gomez-Garcia added that virtual learning can lead to habits such as procrastination.
“So for me online learning was also very difficult because you also had a lot of other things to do. And the thing for me is, you’d procrastinate. You would say, “I’ll do it later,” and you will keep moving forward and at the end of the day you wouldn’t have time to do all the work you had to do, “he said.
De Oliveira, who is the school’s vice president of the student government, said his classroom work suffered from the lack of in-person communication and connection between student and teacher. Once the in-person classes resumed, he immediately saw more positive results.
“I must have a connection with my teacher. I have to be friends with them, and … talk to them. And when I got back to school, that’s exactly what I did. On the first day of school, I befriended my teachers and my grades literally increased in the first week, ”he said.
‘Just put it on’
When it comes to wearing masks at school – one of the most controversial topics in education amid COVID-19 – students were in the pro-mask camp.
“I think it’s a compromise, you know. I’d rather be back to school with everyone and wear masks than… not to wear masks, ”Stanghellini said.
Pardo added that adults need to take a step back. “I feel like I’m vaccinated, it’s your personal belief, do whatever you want to do – but a mask, just put it on. It protects you, it protects everyone, it’s not that bad, but having adults arguing about putting it on and not putting it on… don’t act like a child, rather protect your children ”, a- she declared. .
Hope for the future
Despite all the unknowns resulting from the pandemic, however, this cohort of children still has hope for the future.
“Enough eventually, the world will be vaccinated, and there will be enough understanding that the world will improve and hopefully be eradicated from the population,” Mulvey said.
Stanghellini told Yahoo Finance that she will reflect on the pandemic with her future children.
“I think they will always be in disbelief with what we’ve been through. And I think the only thing we can hope to instill in them is everything we’ve learned during this pandemic… to value human bonds, to be there. ‘school I hope we can instill this in them so that they don’t take anything for granted like we did, ”she said.
Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.
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