Teachers and students on the challenges of an online option


Solie Thress

Some students returned to school while others continue learning remotely.

The pandemic has brought lots of new challenges for both students and teachers. Many have experienced changes to everyday things, from sitting with friends at lunch to using the bathrooms between bells. Students who have chosen to learn concurrently face challenges such as having limited communication with teachers.


Some students struggle with finding the motivation to continue turning in assignments as their teachers have been more lenient.


“Now that you’re at home, you feel lazier… interacting with other people is harder,” Eniola Olakanmi, ‘26 said.


Melissa Riggs, a grade 9-12 biology and environmental science teacher, finds it harder to get students to participate when learning remotely.


“I’m saying student engagement, but it’s not just whether or not students are turning stuff in, it’s getting people to talk back to me, like in the chat,” Riggs said. “My fifth bell class doesn’t talk a lot vocally, but if I talk to them, they’ll answer me in the chat. To me, that’s student engagement.” 


Although there’ve been many new challenges this year, some students have found things that have become easier.


“I think classes in general [are easier] because in school there’s a pressure to look a certain way or act a certain way around teachers in the classroom, but since you’re at home, you don’t have a levy on what you’re supposed to be doing or how you’re supposed to be acting,” Racky Barry, ‘24, said. “The class environment is pretty lenient now.” 


Earlier in the year, some teachers stayed home to teach while others taught in the building. Now all teachers are in the building while also streaming classes for remote students.


“In the beginning, I was coming in a lot and I found it very lonely in the school without the students,” Riggs said. A survey by the National 4-H Council found that 61 percent of students said that their feelings of loneliness have increased during quarantine. 


For some, self-confidence has become harder to have during remote learning. Turning on cameras and unmuting microphones have become hard for some students.


“Having confidence in myself [is harder] because grades are so much easier to get now, it’s hard to have much confidence that you’re the one that got the grade, not the system giving you an easy grade,” Barry said.


Barry also finds focusing on schoolwork is difficult because there are lots of distractions at home. Returning in-person has taken away many of those distractions for some students as they are back in a classroom setting.