Learning In A Virtual Classroom, Yay or Nay?

School is Out! Forever……?

It’s been some time since I have written a post with all the work that came in as the semester ended.

It’s almost been a year since school ended and we began virtual classes.

I remeber getting that email from school on March 12th saying that there would be no school for 8 whole days. Boy, that was probably the best day of my life. Like no school for 8 days!

8 days turned into the whole school year after they confirmed that we wouldn’t return to school for the rest of the year.

Cue “School’s Out” from High School Musical.

Credit to DisneyMusic VEVO

At first, I was kind of happy that I wouldn’t have to wake up early and sit in a classroom for 7 hours. No more running after the bus with no breakfast.

I was wrong.

The Drawbacks Of Online Classes

Doing school from home has made it harder for me to enjoy the best parts of high school. I can’t help feel that the so-called “best four years of my life” is being shortened.

But, that is not what worries me about online learning. Because of virtual classes and faulty internet issues, a lot of problems can happen.

I have had assignments deleted right before the due date or assignments never turned in, which resulted in a zero.

I have missed 30 minutes of class because my computer stopped working and had to deal with all that extra load.

On top of that, communication with teachers has made learning all the more difficult. If I was at school, I could go to my teacher and ask questions at any time they were available. Now, it seems I have to jump hurdles just to get one email back.

The worst part about online school is that I am staring at a computer for 7 hours. I get massive headaches and my eyes hurt, but I can’t let that break my focus.

With all the distractions that come with staying at home while learning, I already lack much will to focus in class. Adding strain by staying on the computer makes it worse.

I believe that I also have received much more work compared to the work when I was in school. I am only in 10th grade, but I have homework and studying that occupies my whole day after school.

That’s more time on the computer.

A New Schedule, Helpful or Hurtful?

For the second semester, my district has decided that all schools revert to the schedule that follows a normal school schedule.

Originally, we had 4 classes that were an hour long. After that hour was up, we had an additional 30 minutes where we could choose to work independently and leave the class or stay and ask questions.

They called the additional 30 minutes “learning labs” and they were helpful because it was time reserved for the students to take a brain break or ask questions. We also had a solid hour for lunch where we could stretch and leave our rooms.

What our new schedule looks like

Now though, we lost our learning labs and our lunchtime was shortened to 30 minutes. Classes are an hour and a half and you can’t leave until the designated time. You only have 5 minutes to “reach” your other class, which doesn’t account for internet issues.

I was just getting used to the old schedule and was enjoying the fact we had some free time. Then, they changed it again where students would have to focus and stare at their devices for 7 hours straight with one 30 minute break.

In-school is similar, but you are also able to talk to your friends, do fun projects, interact with new people, and do after school activities. You’re not constantly on your laptop, working.

Online school is just in-school without the social life.

I like some aspects of virtual learning where I can stay in bed or wake up two minutes before “school” but overall, it’s been harder to enjoy school and absorb new content.

With all these issues like no breaks, prolonged computer use, lack of interaction, more homework, and much more, I have seen grades that I have never gotten before.

I have gotten my first C, D, and F this year, which broke my heart. I am very strict about my grades and believe that they have to be a certain percentage to be good enough.

What Schools Need to Understand

Take a break!

With COVID 19 around and my grandma at home, I understand the importance of staying at home and wearing masks when you NEED to go out.

My main problem with a virtual classroom is the fact that the school board does not understand that students need breaks and time to themselves so they can regroup, focus, and take the breath that they need.

Now, my virtual classes are even harder because I don’t have time to take a second to myself and I don’t have any good way to communicate concerns with teachers or interact with my friends.

On top of no breaks from the screen, I have more homework to do that requires me to sit in my room and continue to work on my computer for hours.

During this harsh pandemic and tough times, please make sure to look after yourself and give yourself the time you deserve.

If school or anything is stressing you out, my advice would be to take a step away from whatever you are doing and go do something that you enjoy.

Taking time to yourself and relaxing is just as important as schoolwork or grades.

Sachi Kataria

Hi! I'm the main blogger/founder of One of A Kind. I hope that reading these experiences from other people will help others realize that they are perfect the way they are and encourage others to engage with our community and talk about their stories. Thanks for reading!

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