Photo By Jamie Wiggan
Students and teachers, like those from the Robinson Township Christian School have had a difficult year navigating the various COVID restrictions.
By Editorial Board
This year has no doubt presented a vast array of challenges for workers across every field.
Healthcare workers and restaurant workers were two groups heavily hit by the COVID-19 fallout. But there’s one group of people who have also been struggling — teachers.
Teachers might be a bit forgotten in lieu of others but they have had one of the toughest jobs this year. Suddenly, they were all forced to take on a whole new setup for teaching.
While this may not sound that daunting, it is not an easy task. Teaching in the classroom by itself is not an easy feat. Keeping the attention of 15-30 kids for an hour at a time, for seven to eight hours a day is no walk in the park.
Insert virtual-learning, electronics, malfunctions and distractions that come along with that and the difficulty is raised on an already high bar.
Then there are the ever-changing schedules, from virtual-learning to in-person and back again that adds an extra level of confusion.
Then there are the students. Learning in this sort of environment is far from ideal. While some students may thrive from isolated learning, many others find it invariably difficult to pay attention and complete tasks.
Students who were otherwise thriving and getting good grades are now slipping with their education.
The lack of social contact with classmates is an issue that parents are concerned about as well — as they should be. Studies have shown the negative impact that limited social contact can have, especially on young kids. That’s not to say homeschooling and virtual-learning are a bad thing. As many negatives as there are, there are many positives, too.
It’s not balanced, however. Homeschooling only works well when the kids are still able to participate in extracurricular activities and visit others their age. But with COVID-19, we’ve had to limit all interactions which is not good for their development.
We already live in a technological world where youngsters are all buried in their phones for hours a day. This already has a negative impact. In some ways, schools were a momentary reprise from that.
Now, we have electronics for seven hours a day on top of phones and video games in the second half of the day.
Kids need to have in-person schooling back and teachers need their classrooms so they can do their jobs more efficiently.
Hopefully, now that a vaccine has been developed, we can slowly start to get back a sense of normalcy and kids can be kids again.