I woke up at 7:45 a.m. Friday to get ready for my online classes. I remembered that many of my classmates were going back to in-person school. I have to say, I was very curious to see how the day would unfold. At the same time, I felt happiness because some of my friends would have the chance to get together. All of these students would get to see their friends after months of quarantine, while I was stuck at home, in front of a screen.
I joined my first period Zoom class and noticed how half of the class wasn’t even there. As my teacher, peers and I waited for the remaining students, I noticed how all the people that were supposed to be going in-person were the ones missing. After about a half hour, they finally started to show up. They told the teacher how the WiFi at school wasn’t working well and how they ran into many other problems. My exact thoughts: “This is going to be a long day.”
After a much needed five minute break, I joined my next class. This class wasn’t as chaotic as the first. Most of my classmates were online. I felt calmer knowing \ this class was going to be the same as it had been for the past few weeks. I had become comfortable using the online system.
I’m not sure I'm ready to begin in-person school. Also, from what I saw from my 5th period class, I realized how lucky I was to stay online. Many of my peers were not wearing their masks and were not social distancing, as they were instructed to. It is understandable. It is difficult to adapt to the new changes brought upon by this new school system. A bit of disorganization on the first days back is to be expected.
There are some disadvantages to in-person school, including having to wake up earlier to commute to school. Then there’s the backpack -- books, materials and a laptop, which would make the bag extremely heavy. Last but not least, the risk of getting infected with the Covid-19 virus.
On the other hand, there are some advantages to in-person school, such as social interaction. I would be able to see my friends and make the learning experience more fun. Also, we can practice sports and enjoy lunch together.
There are some things to learn from this pandemic-era school experience, such as the way classes are delivered. Students can have a combination of online and in-person classes. This may have several advantages. While allowing social interaction during physical classes, online classrooms would give students more flexibility on taking subjects where in-person classes aren’t necessary -- developing more customized programs for students. And we could reduce overcrowding of schools and buses.
All things to think about. In the meantime, I am going back to my (online) class.
Florencia is an 8th grader at MAST Academy. She offered this first- person account of the first day school as she stayed distance-learning.