Students Increasingly Going All-Virtual

Students Increasingly Going All-Virtual

By Lily Waterman

If you have noticed, class sizes keep dwindling down. There are about 430 students currently all-virtual. As more students go all-virtual, classes are significantly becoming more like one-on-one tutoring sessions than high school classes.

But why are so many students after deciding to go back to school in-person initially changing their minds? I guess the allure of rolling out of bed (or maybe even staying in it) every morning is just too tempting.

Although staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic is a completely valid choice for obvious safety reasons for some, I decided to ask students both in-person and virtual why they did go virtual or why they think other students did.

“Teachers tend to focus more on the majority of the students, who are on the Google Meet on a tiny screen. There is no point to be in a class with three other students,” answers Senior Kiki Stepien.

Many athletes went virtual to preserve their spots during their seasons. As they only have a limited amount of games, like football, these athletes are not letting anything get in their way of playing every Friday night. If anyone on any athletic team tested positive, they could risk shutting down the season and at least miss two weeks of their season.

Senior Joe Kubofcik, Center on the Football team, comments, “Virtual school has allowed me to focus on academics as well as athletics. Thankfully my home environment was equally conducive to my academic success as hybrid learning was. Overall, I am happy I made the switch because it’s also pretty convenient to take a few steps to my online classroom than drive to school. I get more sleep, I don’t have to wear a mask all day, and I take no classes that require anything hands on right now.”

In terms of how teachers are reacting to so many students going all-virtual, they seem to be quite stressed and overwhelmed. Teachers are running a classroom alone is difficult enough, but adding the stress of never-ending technical issues, students both in front of you and online, and coordinating tasks and lessons for both sets of students. Many teachers have expressed their exasperation at the current situation and a lack of attention during their Google Meets. 

Todd Green, AP Calculus AB/BC and Algebra teacher, comments, “Virtual teaching is challenging. Like everyone, there are technical issues and discussion and delays in responses.” Teaching a very visual class like math and needing to gauge how students are understanding complex ideas, switching screens back and forth to keep track as a teacher is definitely taking some getting used to. 

Altogether, this pandemic has changed a lot of circumstances in terms of school. As we all try to make the most of this situation, I urge every student to make whatever decision that will help them to succeed in both their online and in-person classrooms.