Covid teaches students resilience and independence, among other lessons

As the entire world adjusts to the new norm that the coronavirus pandemic has created, virtual learning has had to adapt right along with it. And adapt it has. In fact, virtual learning is almost unrecognizable compared to the mess students and teachers alike were forced into at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

Some of the more notable changes are the institution of mandatory zoom/google meetings, a structured curriculum specifically designed for virtual learning, and a complete change in the A and B day schedule as many students decide to attend school in a hybrid format.

As a student who has experienced both the chaos of last year’s version of virtual learning and this year’s more structured version, I’m of the opinion that these changes have been largely beneficial for the students in terms of learning and attempting to be as normal as possible in these unprecedented times. Though I actually appreciate the increased structure and expectations of this school year, the latest version of virtual seems to be unpopular with many.

When it was announced that we would be going virtual for a couple weeks in March of this year, I remember feeling ecstatic. I had no problem with waking up later, doing my work at my own pace, and having a lot more free time. But as the months dragged on, I realized this wasn’t going to be a 3 week vacation. Virtual school, while giving students a lot more free time, also required a strong quality of independence and self-motivation that many weren’t yet accustomed to.

I remember it being so easy to get distracted from my work without a teacher constantly watching me. Though I would have plenty of time to finish the work assigned within the class period, I would often find myself taking multiple breaks and having to finish my work long after the school bell would have rung. When it was announced that we would be going virtual for the rest of the year, I wasn’t nearly as excited. But I was determined to make the best of virtual learning, and that all started with focus and self-motivation.

I slowly got really good at blocking out the distractions and utilizing the time in class that I was given to the best of my ability. And suddenly, virtual learning turned into a lot more of what I thought it was going to be at first. I was able to finish school pretty early every day, and I felt more accomplished after efficiently doing my work in one sitting rather than interrupting it every 10 minutes for a break. Honestly, that’s been the gamechanger for dealing with virtual school.

Though we are only in term 2 of this school year, I really like the changes that were made to virtual over the summer. I think the added structure of zoom and google meets motivates a lot more students to construct their day like a typical in person day which is more effective and allows things to feel more normal than they have in a long time.

I think everyone, including teachers are far better adapted to the new structure and flow of a virtual class this year which has further added to the success of this school year. In addition, taking away A and B days has made things a lot less complicated for students opting for hybrid as they now only need to focus on 4 classes a term rather than 8. No one likes the fact that we were forced into emergency shutdowns or that we won’t be able to return to life as normal for the foreseeable future. But one good thing that has come out of COVID is the resilience and independence it has elicited in each and every one of us.

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