How has the Pandemic Changed School?

The COVID virus first appeared in 2019 in China and launched the biggest pandemic since 1918. It caused businesses to close down, masks to be mandated, people to stay in their homes, and a lot of this is still happening now. One of the biggest things the pandemic has done was make all schools shut down and go virtual. Starting in March of 2020 teachers had to host classes through a screen and students attended at their homes. It wasn’t until a full year later where some students decided to come back in person to the building, having to wear masks and social distance. There are no more virtual classes this year, but both students and staff members are required to wear masks everywhere except the cafeteria. Due to the pandemic, the education system has undergone a lot of positive and negative changes. It made everyone isolate and sit in front of a computer all day long. The motivation, attention, organization and learning techniques of students have changed massively for good.  

According to Funtech, freedom and flexibility changed and opened up greatly during virtual learning. Students were able to snack and do things they would normally be able to do only after school during their online classes. Virtual learning made it easier to organize for a lot of people and also easy to multitask. Eleanor Sardinas, a sophomore, said that “teachers are more lenient with giving work.” This means that they are more flexible with deadlines and understanding that people’s brains need more time to process and warm up. Miranda Wise says that she has “more motivation and a better work ethic” due to social distancing. Although many people, including Sardinas, said the opposite about motivation. Without teachers helping us in person and encouraging us, many people lost motivation over quarantine. Something many people liked about going back mid year was the excitement of seeing people again and the ability to be back in the building. Carpenter, a geometry teacher, said that she “liked that I could come into my room.” She found it easier to teach in person rather than to teach online.

During the majority of the pandemic, no one was inside the school building and even when they were, it was a limited number of people. Many students in virtual classes rarely turned on their cameras and mics during sessions, making their presentation skills slowly get worse. Wise said that they “didn’t like how isolated” they felt. Isolation leads to poor social skills and high social anxiety when returning back for a lot of students. The people that came back in March were a very small and distanced group, which also didn’t help with social skills. Virtual learning also made it much easier to cheat, students not being monitored if they had another tab open during a quiz.