Virtual learning means ‘back to feeling stressed’

Maria+Perez+completes+her+virtual+homework+at+her+desk.

Maria G. Perez

Maria Perez completes her virtual homework at her desk.

I cried when I found out. 

I was enjoying the 2019-2020 school year spring break when I heard the news about HISD transitioning to virtual learning. I was nervous to begin school virtually because I had no idea what to expect.

When the first day of virtual school began I was completely overwhelmed. Teachers started assigning class assignments on top of homework, and the deadlines were so short and close by. Thankfully, as the days passed, the online school wasn’t as scary anymore because I was getting used to it. 

Now that a new virtual learning school year has started, I am back to feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It’s my senior year and it feels as if I am not learning, only submitting assignments. Having to meet new teachers and classmates through a virtual platform is difficult because there is no social interaction. 

And even though I prefer to be cuddled up in bed on my computer doing assignments and being in calls with teachers, I barely get anything done. I have a hard time understanding instructions because I get distracted easily by even just seeing my dog walk across my room. It makes me want to get up to play with him.  

I am a visual learner and prefer seeing how things should be done in front of me, not through a screen. On my Microsoft Teams calls with teachers, no one feels comfortable enough to engage and participate. Not to mention, technical difficulties also occur, making it difficult to keep up with what is being taught. 

I still believe that going to school in person is a lot better than doing virtual school. Face to face learning allows students and teachers to know each other in a better way. 

Students would have a better understanding of teachers’ expectations if they were to meet them in person. Not only that, but motivation comes easier when you’re learning in an actual classroom since the teachers are next to you to encourage you to do your work. 

However, online school is not the worst thing ever, we could have no education at all.  Students have a lower risk of catching COVID-19 and spreading it to their loved ones if they study from home. Students are also able to complete assignments and work at their own pace.

Nonetheless, when it comes to traditional learning, procrastination is harder to do. Students are more likely to be engaged and motivation comes easier. Along with that, instructions are explicit and communication with teachers and classmates is less complicated. 

As soon as there are fewer restrictions on safety guidelines and it is positive that there’s no risk of catching COVID-19, I will not hesitate to go back to on-campus learning.