We’re all in this together

Island-wide insights to virtual learning

Gabriela Kuriakose, Staff Writer

Since in-person classes were not an option during quarantine, students had to start virtual classes with minimal experience on how to navigate online school. Lessons were taught through videos or posted assignments and were often much shorter. This new system impacted every student in different ways. 

“Teachers can’t do this virtually [because they can’t] teach us every single thing they do in a regular year; that’s almost impossible to do. We [aren’t] getting a full year of learning,” said Lucas K., a student from Commack Middle School.

Virtual learning does not give the ability for teachers to reiterate themselves or explain the material slowly to their students. At the start, small lessons were given to students, so they would be able to complete them quickly on their own time. This had disadvantages since students couldn’t learn as much as they were supposed to and caused students entering the following grade to have a very difficult time in their studies.

“In school, you have to stay six hours. At home, I finished my work before six hours so I felt good about that [and] I could do whatever I wanted,” said David G., a student from North Side Elementary School in East Williston, NY.

Since some students were able to finish their work quickly, they were able to spend more time relaxing, especially since they were at home. Students with siblings were able to spend more time bonding with them as well. 

“Sometimes I played with my sister and we had fun,” said David G.

Before quarantine, many families would have been busy with work and school to spend time with one another. Students found this beneficial since they made memories with their families despite trying times. Some even found that it helped younger children to understand their parents and have a better relationship with them. Also, quarantine allowed time for siblings to connect and cooperate with each other. Or quite the opposite.

“I felt aggravated…I wish that I had my own room…there was not that much space,” said Nehara G., a student from Willets Road Middle School in Roslyn Heights.

Some students felt disappointed that they had to stay with their siblings all day. Students that are from big families may have to share rooms, with not that much space to themselves. This caused many fights or tension between siblings and coupled with virtual lessons, learning was very distracting. 

While schools have been a place for students to escape their households and time to focus on themselves and their friendships, staying at home has allowed them to spend quality time with their families. 

“I realized that we’re not going to come back to school…so I was sad I wasn’t going to see my friends, but at the same time it was great to be around family,” said Lucas K.🔳