The new lives of virtual and face-to-face students and teachers: How are they handling it?


Graphic Artist: Brenna Bentley

COVID-19 changes may lead to stress for many.

Everyone has different points of view about online and in-school learning. Since many students and teachers have come back recently, they have gotten a taste of virtual and the new normal of face-to-face school. 

Last year, 2019, many kids ranging from ages 5-18 attended a nearby school and lived their normal lives. Some of the population of American kids were home-schooled. Even adults or young adults attended a college of some sort. Most parents would be at their own jobs or stay at home nursing their young ones. Grandmothers and grandfathers would be in their own comfy cottages and grin from ear-to-ear when grandchildren visited.

However, none of us knew what was about to happen in the following year, 2020.

Our “2019 normal” was to be non-existent for who knows how long? Every American citizen has had to adapt to or create a “new normal” for themselves. And it isn’t only Americans, but people around the world too. It can practically be assumed that everyone misses their old lives, especially when it comes to wearing a mask for the sake of safety.

“I think I like the “normal”– I do not like wearing a mask, but I really do like the smaller classes,” said Mrs. Meredith Garcia,  Dobie 8th grade math teacher.”

Because of “coronavirus”, everyone has had a health scare and is constantly trying to protect themselves. And what a brilliant solution we have come up with–masks! 

SCUCISD has decided that students and teachers of all ages will be required to wear masks if they choose to go in-person. Many students find this extremely annoying; however they are still forced to wear the masks for assurance of safety from the virus.

Considering lockers, the schools that have issued lockers in years past will not be issuing them this year because of keeping students safe. Instead, we will do our best to social distance and not be crammed together trying to get our supplies every class period. Students will be allowed to bring backpacks this year; however this does put a heavier weight on our shoulders. 

“I like carrying around my backpack and everything, but it also would be nice if I could leave some stuff in my locker and go back to get it later,” said Eileen Fletcher, face-to-face 8th grader at Dobie.

Obviously virtual students don’t have to worry about lockers or any school-morning rushes, so how are they handling virtual school?

“I feel like face-to-face would be easier because you could ask something without having any online problems or internet problems,” said Annabell Sanchez, a virtual student at Dobie this year. “Advantages for going to school are if you have a question to ask the teacher, you don’t have to wait a while for a response. You’re also with your friends, so you can always ask them for help if there’s a partner project. Disadvantages to coming to school are waking up early.” 

There are multiple advantages and disadvantages to coming back to school and/or staying at home. About one-third of the school population is going virtual this year. Some students may feel lonesome because their friends are going face-to-face, and others not so much. A few virtual students may be having internet problems, so this is a growing conflict, especially when they need help with Google Classroom assignments. 

“I like going in-person because doing school virtually wasn’t working for me. I couldn’t get my assignments turned in on time. I just needed to come back and see my friends, and have a teacher to ask for help, instead of getting on Zoom,” said Eileen Fletcher, in-person 8th grader at Dobie.

Teachers have also been put under a lot of pressure and stress because they have to teach face-to-face and virtual students. It is a difficult and stressful task, as teachers have to stay at school longer or on a working device longer to help students who need it.

“It’s a little stressful. The safety thing isn’t bothering me because we’re all wearing masks. We’re socially distancing; but it is difficult to try to teach in-student classes and then also be available to the remote learners,” said Mrs. Garcia, Dobie 8th grade math teacher.

It all boils down to counting the cost of each learning platform. What works best for you?