Has stress ever affected the way you think and feel? Have you ever questioned your answer because you were nervous it was wrong? I 100% have, I always stress about upcoming presentations and tests. In March 2020, our country went into lockdown. We went from being in school full time to fully remote. This transition was difficult for me and tons of others in my grade, even though it wasn’t as hard as transitioning into a new hybrid schedule, half in-person, half remote. We were online for a little over three months last year. At this time I had just started to adjust to the new way of learning and the new schedule. Changing your schedule isn't something that can happen in just a snap, it takes time. We kids need to be learning in person so that we don't have any distractions. With all of these recent changes, kids are struggling with this adjustment. Some kids can't re-adjust as quickly as others.
There are always two sides to a story, the pros and the cons. In this scenario, there are many pros of switching back to school, half and half. First, in-person classes have been more effective for kids than homeschooling. Looking at many different demographics, younger kids and kids with disabilities need to be in a class, with a teacher. Many suffer from conditions like ADHD, also known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Some symptoms are that they are easily distracted or have difficulty listening. During our time online, there are no teachers with these kids to help them stay focused and on topic. Learning from home is harder for kids with ADHD who struggle in school.
A school is a place where learning isn’t the only important factor; kids also learn to build relationships. School is part of children’s social life, where they can communicate and see their friends, instead of seeing them through a screen. Also by going back to school, kids are going to be able to regain their motivation, and physically move around. Many kids aren’t getting the proper amount of exercise due to sports not happening, and others are not changing into everyday clothes in the morning and are staying in their pajamas. With going back to school, kids will hopefully be motivated, and start to exercise on a daily basis as well as get back to a normal way of life.
Now it’s time for the other side of this story, the cons of switching back to in-person school. Many kids, advisors, teachers, and other staff members will become exposed to the risk of Coronavirus and will potentially risk affecting others. COVID-19 can be symptomatic, but also asymptomatic, meaning you could never be aware of carrying the virus. Even though many believe that kids are less at risk than adults, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t at risk at all. Another con of going back to school is that many schools have to reduce the number of kids and staff that are entering the schools at once. This is one of the many new protocols that are being put into place to help ensure kids’ and staff’s safety in school. Some of these new protocols include new heat and air conditioning and proper directions in hallways so there aren’t too many kids in one hallway at once. The heat and air conditioning could become a problem for schools that don’t have proper financial support. Also, how do we know if a school actually follows these protocols? - It seems impossible to verify for each school.
Lastly, stress can be a significant issue for kids entering the school building again. These kids haven’t taken a test in a very long time. In my school, when we are following classes online, many teachers allow us to use our notes when taking tests, and going back to in-person school can therefore be problematic, as kids can not use their notes anymore. These kids will start to stress again, as they will need to prepare more for their tests.
With looking at all the pros and cons, there are many good reasons why we should go back to school and why we shouldn’t. From my experience, going back to school and taking an in-person test was a very stressful and nerve-racking moment. But in the end, I felt that I was much more focused on being in person, and felt like I was actually learning new concepts.
Hilary Gottlieb is a BBG from Great Jersey Hudson River Region: Northern and goes to Trails End Camp.
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How I took the time during online learning to better myself and my work.
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