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The Jaguar Renaissance, Top Stories

The Virtual Experience

The Perspective of High School Juniors 

Next month March, 13th marks the commemoration of the last normal school day. Since then started a new area of learning, virtual. Jumping from classroom to Chromebook has changed a huge part of lives and has affected students positively and negatively.

The Pandemic changed the school environment at every basic functioning level. While clubs are allowed to continue virtually, sports cannot. Athletic activities will only resume when students are allowed back in school buildings.

“We know that for our young people, we need activities,” the county executive Angela Alsobrooks said

Therefore,  students and their old habits are broken and new habits have replaced them.  These serious times during a pandemic, find students lacking motivation. Virtually connected but socially disconnected from teachers and peers. There are opinions to be heard. 

 The following Juniors from the Class of 2022,  from Charles Herbert Flowers High School, shared their opinions, views, and feelings during this new time of online education.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT VIRTUAL LEARNING?

“It’s not a terrible experience” Junior Christopher Hackley texted

“It’s getting irritating. My work habits have just declined and I’m not learning anything at all. I have a few teachers that actually try to teach us but for the most part, it’s just getting it done for the grade” an anonymous Junior texted

“It’s okay, it’s hard to pay attention in class sometimes, and there are classes I want to take this year, but virtual learning makes it hard for me” Junior Faatimah Brown texted

“Pretty okay, I’m more productive in and out of school” texted Junior Isaiah Ladejobi

 

IS SCHOOL HARDER OR EASIER?

“It’s harder to get work done but easier to cheat. It’s harder to learn new content but easier for you to fall asleep and take a small break even if it costs a lecture” responded anonymously

“I say easier in the aspect of ducking social anxiety, but in the sense of help and or accessibility then harder” ━Isaiah Ladejobi

“Both. To be honest I can’t socialize but that means I can focus more on my work” ━Christopher Hackley 

PROS TO VIRTUAL LEARNING 

As stressful and chaotic as this school year is, students are finding positive being home all day. 

“Being able to focus more… not having to get up at 5 am” ━Christopher

“My GPA is super high because I actually have time to do my work and I can process the information. I do learn better…” ━anonymous

Being virtual does have its benefits than being in person.  You can work at your own pace, take breaks after classes, or have more time to get an assignment done before it’s due. 

Virtual Learning is independent so if your the type of person that rather work alone than be in a group project, this learning style is probably the best for you.

“There’s more time to do your work” ━Faatimah respond 

“I can edit while in class, or do assignments quicker” ━Isaiah Ladejobi

 

CHALLENGES  

These are just some of the many challenges students faced. Being forced into virtual learning before schools were prepared for this major change in instruction. Many more have countless technology issues or are busy with parents and especially younger siblings. It is stressful being in quarantine and also being in online school for students and teachers.

“When I attend virtual conferences there is always a presenter and moderator in a session. Teaching virtually requires two people. I wish the district realizes the amount of attention requires to be successful when online teaching. In addition to the poor Internet connectivity and the platform used by the district seems to be a major issue for my students and me. Using one small laptop to monitor class, chat, admit students, and teach is a two person job.” said Journalism teacher Zena Whitworth 

A normal junior year may have obstacles to overcome but nothing like what juniors face this very moment. 

“Definitely falling asleep all the time or having to wake up. I’m always in my bed because it’s the most comfortable for me.” ━anonymous

“Participating in class and turning on my camera” ━Faatimah 

“Lack of motivation, not being able to socialize… no track practice” ━Christopher 

 

WHERE ARE YOU MENTALLY? 

Mental health plays a big part in everyone’s day to day life. When you’re not feeling up to part, it is hard to put forth effort and motivation if your body has little energy.

“I’m alright I guess. I do have my bad moments but I have moments where I’m alright as well. It’s hard though cause I have to worry about stuff for colleges next year while also worrying about what I’m doing this year” texted anonymously

“Mentally I’m good I just wanna say forget it but other than that I’m all good” ━Christopher 

“Well mentally I’m perfectly fine” an honest answer by Isaiah 

“Mentally, I have adapted to the new normal, but there is some stress when it comes to doing work” ━Faatimah 


With these statements made by High school juniors, we have been doing distance learning for over a year now and not everyone has fully adjusted to the “new normal”. This still has no excuse to not show up to class and do your work. As Juniors, it is advised to prepare for college entrance exams (ACT or SAT) and to start narrowing down colleges they plan to attend.  

No time for stalking off! Better yourself now for you can have a greater future. Even with all the negativities, understand we will survive this journey. 

Juniors will overcome wifi issues, Chromebook breakdowns, and academic isolation. Together we are living through what once seemed to be impossible. Yet, it was possible and so are you.

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” Quote from George Bernard Shaw

Staying focused on what you want to accomplish rather than worrying about what’s going on around you. Hard work and finish strong Juniors. This year is preparing you to be successful.

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