Everyone can agree that the past eight months may not have been the most desirable, and with the continuous spread of COVID-19, many students are wondering how they will attend school. Through hopes of adapting to the unfortunate circumstances, Osceola County provided parents and their children an alternative for returning to school in 2020: online schooling! Most students had a taste of this at the end of the last school year, so this option is not too unfamiliar. However, similar to going to school in person, new standards and routines may be implemented to last the semester. The following interviews are from two students that have opposing thoughts on the subject.
The first interview was with a student who has chosen to stay home for the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year. The name remains anonymous, but their opinions are clear. Since they have already experienced the nature of virtual school, they’ve spoken on their experience. According to him/her, online learning is both safer and more efficient for their schedules. Although there are setbacks such as not having all the resources in one location, staying online helps them stay energized with the efficient schedule. Read “Virtual-Learning Option Interview” below for more information.
##Virtual Learning Option Interveiw:
Diego Candelario: Good afternoon.
Anonymous Speaker 1: Hey.
D: So just to be clear, you’re choosing to stay home this semester?
D: Okay, great. And why did you think this would be a better solution as opposed to going back to school?
A1: Well, first of all, it’s more likely to be safer and I won’t have the risk of exposing my family to the virus as some of my family members are at risk. And honestly, when we did it the first time it was easier, I didn’t have to wake up so early, I wasn’t at school just zoned out all the time because of how tired I was. At home, I’m rested and I’m able to do my work quicker and better.
D: Yeah, I can see how the setting can change work ethic. So what are some expectations or hopes that you have for what learning is going to look like this year?
A1: I just hope whenever we get the assignments or what we need to learn, it’s just straightforward so that way there’s nothing I can possibly get confused on. Not that it’s [online learning] inconvenient, but sometimes it happens. It would just be easier for everything to be there, have all the resources I need and just go off that and I hope it’s just as smooth as it was when we transitioned when this first started.
D: And is there anything from when we transitioned last year that you would want to change?
A1: Personally, no. I liked everything how it was when we first transitioned.
D: Did you ever consider going back to school and, if so, was it something someone said or something you heard somewhere?
A1: I definitely considered it. I miss seeing everybody from school, that’s for sure. But I hope most of our classmates are considerate and they are working to not catch or spread the virus so that way, when we go back to school, we don’t have to deal with any issues with that. It’s mostly a social factor, but even then I still talk to a lot of friends on the daily so it’s not the worst thing to happen for me.
The next interview explores why going back to school in person isn’t such a bad idea. Once again, the speaker remains anonymous for the protection of their identity. They chose to go back to NeoCity instead of staying at home for the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year. They claim that going back to school in real life is an advantage for them. Not only will it push them back to their regular school schedule, but they can interact with more people. However, they are still at risk because there is currently no vaccine for the virus. He/she says that students will try to stay safe by following the rules and wearing masks at all times. Read the “In-Person Schooling option interview” below for more information.
##In-Person Learning Interview
Diego Candelario: So how will you be attending school this year?
Anonymous Speaker 2: I’m going in person.
D: And why are you going as opposed to just staying home?
A2: Well, my parents don’t like me staying home all the time and I need to get back into a routine.
D: What expectations do you have for when you go back to school and what might this routine look like?
A2: Basically just like going back to school again so I stop sleeping in as late and I can start seeing more people.
D: Did you ever consider staying and, if so, was it something someone said or something you heard that may have convinced you?
A2: Well, when the options were first announced, I wanted to go back and then I started considering online school when I noticed how many people were initially choosing to go back, but now it looks like that number is going down for how many people are going back, so that helped a little bit.
D: Thank you, that’s all. Do you have any comments you want add?
A2: Just that everyone should wear their mask because you shouldn’t go back if you’re not gonna be safe about it.
There were two anonymous people interviewed for their insight on virtual and in-person schooling. The first interview was with someone who picked the virtual option. They have already experienced the virtual environment during the last quarter of the 2019-2020 school year. They believe that learning online is safer and more efficient for their schedules. However, there are setbacks such as the lack of lab resources and less socializing time.
On the other hand, the latter interview gives the perspective of a student who will be attending school in person. This anonymous speaker believes that they gain a personal advantage going to school in person as: they may have a set schedule, learn easier with teachers to guide them, and interact with more people. Even with the upsides, this student knows that they are at risk and will try to stay safe by following the COVID-19 guidelines and wearing masks at all times.
Hopefully students understand the pros and cons of the two options. The interviews shown in this article may have given them a better feel for what their classmates are experiencing this fall. It’s important to understand the different factors when choosing virtual or in-person school since the traditional routine has been changed. In the end, it’s best for students to pick the option that ensures safety and a good learning experience.