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Are You Mentally Ready to Return Back to School?

DO YOU FEEL PREPARED TO ENGAGE IN HYBRID LEARNING?

With all the unexpecting pros and cons SY20-21 has brought to everyone, technology seems to be the principal source on which our society seems most dependent today. Now, after a few months of getting more comfortable with our virtual circumstances, we’re told that we may have to adjust to hybrid learning, but do you feel mentally prepared to start in-school learning again?

Due to COVID-19, many school districts were forced into lockdown from all across the world. As a result, over 1.2 billion students and teachers were forced out of their classrooms.

The biggest question that we’re all wondering now is what exactly is hybrid learning. Well, hybrid learning is a combination of in-class and online learning, this meaning half of your class attending school one day and the other half the next.

 

January 21, 2021, at 02:08 PM Dr, Monica E. Goldson published this update.

Dear Prince George’s County Public Schools Community,

Now that vaccinations are underway for educators and support staff as part of Prince George’s County’s Phase 1B, I am more optimistic that we can possibly reopen our schoolhouse doors this spring.

Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) will work in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente to vaccinate our employees, with a tentative start date of Monday, February 1. All staff will be encouraged to get the vaccine. The sooner our employees are vaccinated, the faster we can resume normal operations and welcome students back into our school buildings in small groups.

As vaccination efforts ramp up, we are reassessing learning options and the timeline for implementation of in-person learning. Among the factors under consideration are the percentage of positive COVID-19 cases in Prince George’sCounty, the number of daily new cases and the average daily case rate based on population. Specifically, we would consider moving to in-person instruction when the percent of positive cases falls between 5 percent and 8 percent with fewer than 91 daily new cases and an average daily case rate between 5 and 10 percent.

For comparison, as of Tuesday, January 19, the positivity rate was 11 percent, there were 468 new cases daily and the average daily case rate was 51 percent. You can find daily statistics on the PGCPS website.

If we resume in-person learning this spring, then we expect to return small groups of students, such as specific grade levels and special education, using the hybrid model. Families of identified groups would still have the option of hybrid learning or distance learning for the remainder of the school year. We will reassess our reopening plans in mid-February.

I continue to ask for your patience as we work through these circumstances. We want you to have the best information available to help protect you and your families against COVID-19. While some aspects will undoubtedly change over time, we will do our best to deliver timely updates.

Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Monica Goldson, Ed.D.Chief Executive Officer 

In the update above Dr. Monica mentions vaccinations many times.

 

Latest reports on COVID-19 vaccinations

On December 11, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued the first emergency use authorization (EUA) for a vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019. From what I know there are a total of several different COVID vaccines. 

COVID-19 vaccination seems to work by teaching your immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting sick with COVID-19. 

Now according to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/ 

– You cannot catch COVID-19 from the COVID-19 vaccination. 

– You can take the vaccination which will help protect you from the virus itself but you are still required to wear a mask. 

Dr. Monica E. Goldson is Chief Executive Officer of Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS). She previously served as Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning where she led a team that supported schools in the areas of curriculum and instruction, special education, testing, college and career readiness, and student services. 

Dr. Goldson believes in creating experiences that propel students to their highest levels of excellence. 

 

How I personally feel after reading this article: 

My biggest worries are the vaccination shots. Of course, we’ve heard of false rumors and misspoken tales about the virus. I just personally don’t like needles and having to take seven shots for a virus doesn’t sound fun. 

Every class I took a survey on how my classmates and teachers felt about the following article: 

“I don’t wanna take the vaccination. I don’t trust it and I heard that it was made from dead infants. This may not be true but I don’t want to take it.”– Anonymous 

“I honestly don’t want to go back to school, I’m exhausted and I don’t have the money for school materials” – Anonymous 

“I won’t be able to see my friends at school, that’s my biggest problem.” – J.Brown

“I’m so ready to get to school and see the faces of all my students.” – Anonymous

 

Where are you mentally?

The increased screen time of online instruction and the lack of face-to-face interaction has affected many students like myself, mental and physical health. 

Some student’s social anxiety has increased as a result of taking classes online, partially because online classes have increased the pressure of looking presentable. I’m personally outgrowing my shyness as most of my classes are camera on classes. 

I would say mentally right now I’m stressed because of the overloading of assignments I have to do but I’m very comfortable with the materials I have at home to make sure I can get all those assignments completed.

HYBRID LEARNING VS VIRTUAL LEARNING

PROS:

Virtual Learning:

  • Students have more online resources to complete assignments. 
  • Students are in a more comfortable environment
  • Virtual learning decreases the distractions students experience while in school. 

Hybrid Learning:

  • Cites personal interaction with instructors and classmates.

 

CONS:

Virtual Learning:

  • Students with limited internet access struggle with classes. 
  • Social skills are weakening.

Hybrid Learning:

  • May cause both students and teachers to overwork themselves.

Survey

So I asked people from my classes, clubs, and private meetings how they felt about hybrid learning and their thoughts on rather students and teachers are mentally prepared for going back to school.

Here are some of the results from my first question: 

How do you feel about hybrid learning?

“I really don’t think it’s a good idea. It has some benefits like getting more interaction with teachers and other students, but we are now stressed as it is. There is no right ratio between in-person and distant learning, it can only get more challenging. Teachers and students have more responsibilities getting up, going to school, learning, and turning in work.” – Virginia Bates (11th grader ) 

“Hybrid learning could be useful for those who need or want it. For example, you can attend lectures and instruction online and then go to school to complete labs for a science class. Some classes like an art or music class could benefit from Hybrid learning. However, English could easily be 100% virtual.” – Anonymous 

Are you ready to return back to school?

“I want to go back to school because I don’t want to be on virtual learning and this online stuff is counterboring and I just don’t want to do it on online learning.”-Anonymous (9th grader)

“Yes, I hate virtual learning” -Anonymous (10th grader)

“No, I prefer virtual learning. I don’t want to see certain people in person.”


I’ve reached out to Dr. Monica Goldson herself though I am still waiting for her response. *IT WILL REMAIN ANONYMOUS* 

Lastly, I reached out to someone very special to Charles Herbert Flowers and asked them about their thoughts on rather students, teachers, and yourself are mentally prepared for going back to school.

“Sure. I am excited about going back to school as I miss seeing the students and teachers everyday. I am at the school a few days a week and the school doesn’t feel the same way without you all. I do have my reservation, however. Like everyone else I am worried about COVID. I look forward to getting my vaccination next week. I think that as long as we follow the guidelines that are set forth that everyone can remain safe and we can begin to transition back to some form of normalcy.” – Anonymous 

Now, this all leads back to my main question.

ARE ” YOU” mentally prepared to return back to school?

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