Online School? Perish the Thought!
Updated: Sep 19, 2020
At the moment, thinking about starting school is the most taxing thought. How is this possible? It feels like last week the district announced a minimum two week school closure. How have six months passed by at such a rapidly slow pace? Seeing my friends and favorite teachers at school feels like a dream. But, staring at my laptop all day and chatting with little squares of different people has become second nature.
Since the stay-at-home orders began, I have been waiting for the day when I can return to school. That day is approaching but, the only commute I will be taking to and from school is from my bed to the table. Recently, it was announced that public school would begin, later than expected, online. This was met by mixed reactions from parents, students, and teachers.
The most common complaint regarding online school is that students will fall behind. Many think that by not physically attending school and going to class, students will fall back in academics and their mental health will deteriorate. Going to school on a computer screen is the new normal, for now at least. By not seeing teachers in person and interacting with classmates, public school students have less motivation to attend class. Online school does not offer the same joys of going to school. There is no lunch with 300 other people in the same pavilion, no walking to class with your friend, and no after-school socializing before cross country practice. Without a doubt, this year will be out of the ordinary.
A simple answer for both of these anti-online school arguments is organization. Schools need to come up with a plan for not only how they are going to educate students, but how they will ensure that students will go to class. The end of the 2019-2020 school year was a mess for the public school system. Teachers did not have any teaching protocol that needed to be followed, educators were not given the proper resources to educate, and students were not held to the same in-school standards. By creating a plan for the students and for the curriculum, the system ensures that high schoolers will try their best in school. Without a plan, kids feel as if the system has failed them, they lose motivation, and stop trying. By setting the stage with a basic online school plan, students will feel inclined to follow suit in planning their school days, exercise, and any online extracurricular activities. This organization gives everyone involved in the educating process a sense of agency in a time where many feel little control over their own lives.
Personally, I would prefer to go back to waking up before dawn, seeing the sun rise on my drive to school, and racing to the new building to start my first class at 7:20 before the bell rings. Unfortunately, these chaotic moments that make going to school ten times more entertaining will not occur. It is up to me to create a plan so my school days at home will still be filled with fun chaos. In order to have a good start to the school year, we must organize our own schedule and make our own memories.