As winter break has come to an end, we are slowly transitioning back into our old school routines, well at least partly. With online school the first few weeks of the new semester, we can all agree that our schedule is different. Staying in our pj’s all day, little focus in class, waking up five minutes before the Zoom starts, it's been a change.
Fortunately, we are coming back to school on Monday and this is absolutely the correct decision.
Teachers are very excited about this news as holding classes online has been such a struggle for all teachers around the world. They have to manage a number of issues: student keeping' cameras off, low participation, missing students who then have to be tracked down, and lots of missing assignments; the list goes on and on. Teaching in-person school will help teachers ensure that students are sitting at their desks and doing their work rather than going on Youtube, Netflix, and Instagram.
Don’t get me wrong there are some benefits about teaching online since classes are shorter and there are longer breaks, but there is just a certain magic of being in person and seeing students. It's not only about making sure students are doing their work though, it's also just the fact that they get to see the students every day (something people have learned to be more grateful about these days).
I think we have all realized that with school going online, our screen time has absolutely shot up into the air and our assignments are piling up. With all the distractions of sitting at home and having the ability to turn your camera off, it has been waaaaay too easy to lose focus (I’m speaking from experience, trust me). It’s so easy to slowly drift away from class and transition into that addicting show on Netflix.
It has been shown that too much screen time can lead to lack and trouble sleeping. Another huge downside of online school and the fact that devices are not off-limits in the long breaks. Getting enough sleep is always important, especially at this age. Hopefully, when school starts up once again, people can adapt back to their healthier sleeping schedules and just schedules in general. We can get back that amazing energized feeling.
With the ability to be on a device at any moment of the day, imagine how fried some people's brains might be. Screens are pretty much our best friends. Always being on screens has taken over many people's social life.
The last reason coming back to school is the correct decision is because you get to socialize with friends. Socializing with friends is one of the most important things a middle schooler should be doing, and because we’re on Zoom we don’t have the luxury of hanging out with our friends during breaks, or even at all. This can cause students to feel lonely and down in the dumps. One benefit of coming back to campus is that ASA’s, ASIAC and, MESAC (for 8th graders) can start again. ASA’s, ASIAC and, MESAC; are some of the ways to socialize with friends. ASIAC is something most middle schoolers look forward to the most, and not having it is a bummer.
Finally, we have several new students, and trying to make friends online is incredibly difficult. One of the easiest ways to make friends is to walk around school and see who you like hanging out with. Once you can’t do that, go to ASA’s and ASIAC, you basically have no way to make friends.
Though we do realize that online school brings benefits such as having shorter classes (and less stuff for teachers to prepare), longer breaks, and no need of getting ready in the mornings, we believe that though we will have to be extra careful when we get back, the benefit of meeting people and having more of the middle school and AES experience is way more important.