On March 12th 2020, Perkiomen Valley School District announced a four day break from school for COVID-19 safety precautions. For some, that was the last day they’ve been in school since. A lot has happened in those days as PV was able to go to hybrid learning in late 2020 and eventually full in-person schooling. However, around 700 students decided to stay virtual and go with the pros and cons that come with that.
Virtual schooling is a mixed bag and comes with advantages and disadvantages academically, mentally and in other aspects of school.
Academically, students have a variety of responses to learning. “Learning wise, it’s better for me to come in,” 9th-grade student Vincent Weiss said.
“I feel like I’m doing the same academically as I would in person” Adam Brocket, 10th grade student said.
Teachers have tried to accommodate virtual students the best that they can but it’s not a perfect system and the struggles are still there. One of which is being able to reach out to teachers as easily as you could if you were in the classroom, some teachers say the same themselves “Building relationships with your students is so important for teaching and learning. This is hard through Zoom” Mr Pongras, 9th grade social studies teacher, said.
Academics are definitely difficult for both students and teachers as it is harder for teachers to make sure students can really grasp the learning as easily as they would in person, but they get by and students and teachers are able to function.
The main hardship from virtual learning seems to be mental. “Most days are boring and repetitive. I miss the opportunity to interact with new teachers and classmates ” Ryan Allman, 9th-grade student said.
While students are online for different reasons no matter what, they don’t get the chance to come into school and miss a lot of the social interaction that students get throughout the day.
There are some perks to online learning such as many teens reportedly gaining an extra hour of sleep by not having to get up so early to catch the bus for school.
There is hope on the horizon because COVID vaccines have been released for children as young as 12 years old.
Overall virtual learning is in no way perfect but it’s not that bad either, or as Mr Nawrocki, 9th grade English teacher states “It’s not ideal but we make it work. It’s nothing terrible. Just different.”