March 13, 2020 was our last day in the school building due to COVID-19, and it’s been over a year now of virtual learning. As I think about this past year, it has been challenging, and these are the top five things I miss most about in-person school.
#1. The Opportunity to Start Middle School In-Person
As a 6th grader, I was hoping to experience the first day of middle school with my friends. Due to the pandemic, we ended 5th grade online and started 6th grade online. The end of elementary school was upsetting because I didn’t get to say goodbye to my teachers and classmates. Whenever we can return to school, the first day don’t won’t feel the same since we’ve been out of school for a while.
I never would have thought I would miss walking in the hallways or around the classroom, but now I miss it terribly! During my Zoom classes, I have to sit in a chair for an hour at a time, and when I can finally stand, my legs are numb and it feels like I’m floating. I try to stretch after class by standing up and cracking my back. It sounds like smashing a bag of chips, turning them into crumbs.
#3. Different Types of Learning Methods
In virtual learning, I have to look at a screen all day, but at school, I would not always have to use a computer. I could use hard copies of books, and my teachers could explain the material by demonstrating lessons.
#4. The School Atmosphere
Normally, students can get to know each other because they’re in the same classes and can sit next to each other and talk face-to-face. However, in Zoom classes, most students don’t turn on their videos, so it’s hard to build relationships and make new friends. I miss the classroom environment and the experiences we would usually have in the school building, such as at lunch, in between classes in the hallways, and on the bus after school.
#5. Interactions with Friends and Teachers
At school, I used to have the opportunity to talk with my friends, but in virtual learning, it is difficult to socialize with my friends or ask my teachers questions since we are all on Zoom. In addition, I cannot go outside during lunch to hang out due to social distancing, and even if some students go back to school in-person, we will have to stay six-feet apart.
Even though things have been difficult, I’m hopeful that the pandemic will come to an end sooner than later, so that we can all go back to normal and be together in school.