Zoom vs. The Classroom: One Student’s Story

For many students, distance learning wasn’t exactly a breeze. Across the country, students struggled greatly with this new format, including myself. Throughout the challenges we endured during this time, personally and collectively, students still managed to push through it. And still are. After months of distance learning, a considerable amount of students have gone back to school in person in my area. States have been lessening restrictions and have become more relaxed. The three-foot rule was approved in my district in order to have more space in classrooms for greater numbers of students in each class. This has allowed schools to reopen following CDC guidelines in order to keep their students safe under certain limitations.

Obtaining knowledge through the screen had its pros and cons. The idea of being able to stay home all the time, lounge around, and not have to put in effort for the day was nice – in theory.  We were allowed to run over to the kitchen anytime we wanted to get a snack and turn our cameras off when we wanted to disconnect from the class. But, it soon became underwhelming. Repeating the same routine every day was miserable. Even if I and others enjoyed it initially, it was still unhealthy. Eventually, the stress and deadlines caught up to me. After procrastinating and enjoying what felt like time off, the important projects began to ramp up as I continued to dig myself into a deeper hole. Although it was nice to have the option to get out of school early and not pay attention to my teacher, I found that distance learning was not for an unstructured student like myself. In believing I could balance all of my projects, assignments, and upcoming planning for high school, I willingly set myself into a trap

When the school board announced that secondary levels were allowed to proceed to in person school, the staff and administration quickly set to planning for their students. Parents were excited to see their children back in class, teachers were finally being given the opportunity to see their students and provide more hands-on learning, and students were being given the chance to see their friends and peers. Families were given a deadline through Aeries as an option to send their children back to school or continue their education through distance learning. Two-thirds of students decided to return as the CDC set out guidelines for everyone to follow. Soon, students were back in the classroom. The process felt very quick. We were just isolated for months on end and slowly easing our guidelines, and now within a matter of three weeks we were given the option to go to school? 

The first day of in-person school was definitely like no other. Teachers were confused as to how to pay attention to each distance learning kid and the kids in their classrooms. They had to completely readjust to this hybrid way of learning with only 6 weeks remaining. Each student was given a laptop to bring with them each day, so naturally, issues arose around charging those laptops. Tripping over cords and seating adjustments had to be in place within each class. 

Students being able to walk on campus and see their teachers is a blessing that many are not able to experience, and we appreciate all the effort to keep students safe during these times. Thank you to our teachers and administration staff for adjusting just as well as we have.

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Brileigh Guillen

Brileigh Guillen

Brileigh Guillen is from the Inland Empire and is currently an incoming high school student. She dreams to accomplish many things in high school and beyond her school life. One of her goals is to go to college and study psychology because of her deep interest in the subject! Her passion for talking about the stigma surrounding mental health has urged her to try and have these conversations within her community. Everyone struggles and she believes that being open to these discussions will help the Latinx community break down some of their close minded mindsets just by engaging in this topic. She wants to ensure that every teenager like her is able to speak about how they feel without being ashamed or shut down. As much as Brileigh enjoys speaking about this issue she also loves photography, spending time with her cats, and playing golf.
Brileigh Guillen

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