Students Compare Remote Learning Last Year to This Year
As we are aware, COVID-19 has impacted various aspects of all our lives. Not only have the simple things changed, such as going to the grocery store, but COVID-19 has also altered our education. Heading into our fifth month of the new school year, AJA students have noticed drastic differences between remote learning last year and this year. The entire student body learned remotely from the start of the school year through Sukkot, and now school is in-person for the majority of students. Although we are now in face-to-face learning, our time in remote learning has greatly impacted our education. Students have found that these changes specifically relate to their social, academic, and emotional experiences.
Student Council co-president Emily Gavrielov described the social differences between the years to be extreme. Emily expressed a large difference between Community Time this year and last year. “Last year, during remote learning, we were not experimenting with in-person events yet; we were not gathering together, and everyone was stuck at home on lockdown,” she said. This year, the student council has taken on the responsibility of creating numerous socially distant events and trying to bring the high school community together. For instance, student council created a movie night where students could come together and participate in something enjoyable while staying healthy and safe.
“It’s really hard to participate in activities while having to be socially distanced and coming together as a community,” junior Leah Houben expressed. “I think that the school has done a really great job trying to help the community come together, but we cannot change the fact that we can’t come together the same way that we did before.”
Numerous students have shared how their academic journeys have differed between remote learning this year and last year. The High School altered remote learning this year by adding new instructional time such as skills lab and asynchronous classes. The remote schedule this school year also has more classes each day than last year’s remote schedule. Because of this, many students feel additional stress due to increased schoolwork.
“Although the changes were made in order to give students the best possible education and opportunities, many students feel as if the workload is too much to handle and almost not possible to keep pace with.”
With their workload piling up, many feel that they are unable to keep up with the growing expectations. Senior Katherince Cranman voiced, “For some reason teachers are holding us to an extremely high standard, especially compared to [on campus] and remote learning last year.” Additionally, junior Miriam Bregman explained, “I feel that teachers are doing everything in their power to help us be as successful as possible, but sometimes I feel that we are being drowned in work and it is really hard to keep up.” Students feel like classes have become more difficult for students due to increased rigor and seriousness in their classes. Although the changes were made in order to give students the best possible education and opportunities, many students feel as if the workload is too much to handle and almost not possible to keep pace with.
Many teachers have shared their empathy and understanding with the students, and have offered them explanations as to why it is important for them to continue to push them. Teachers have shared that because of remote learning starting off the academic year, curriculum plans have fallen behind.
Although many students are excited to now learn on-campus and in person, some students have opted to continue remote learning. Jemima Schoen, a sophomore who chose to stay with remote learning, expressed, “Remote learning is a bit challenging, especially for things like math and science.” Remote learning can be extremely burdensome for those who have chosen to continue on with it, but it also has many contrasts between this year and last. Senior Gefen Beldie stated, “I like virtual school this year, but a lot of people are having a really hard time focusing on their important classes.” Gefen expressed that she feels that it is extremely difficult to focus on her classes while being at home. She feels as if she gets distracted by the world around her and the environment that she is learning in.
“Teachers have shared that because of remote learning starting off the academic year, curriculum plans have fallen behind.”
During these unprecedented events, students all around the world have suffered in terms of their social life and education. As a result of the turbulent experience with new scheduling, students have found themselves occupied with more work than in previous years. It is crucial that we all come together during these strange times, take note of the drastic differences between remote learning, and work together to form the best possible educational experience for all students.