COVID-19 & Returning to School: One 13 Year Old’s Perspective
Right now, one of the biggest debates and topics of conversation is whether or not students will be returning to school in the fall. From scientist to teachers, politicians to doctors, the debate is raging on as to "do we" or even "how do we" get our kids back into the classroom.
All of this discussion has many wondering, what do the students really think? What does the average 13 year old make of all this pondering and analysis of what is best for their educational process.
I had a chance to chat with Goodrich Middle School student Asia Gray to find out exactly what she thought of returning to the classroom in the fall, and how school for her has completely changed this year.
Asia was finishing up 6th grade when COVID-19 sent the world we knew into a tailspin. The unknown is always scary, but for children looking for answers to the chaos it can be incredibly hard to understand. "I was a little scared at the beginning, but not much because I didn’t think kids could get it. Then when kids started getting sick I started to worry a little bit more", she said.
When asked what she thought about attending classes from home online this past spring Gray said, "I felt like I had more work at home, but I felt like I had more help from friends and family so that was good in a way. Being at home I didn't feel like I learned a lot. I feel like in school I was taught more details." Gray continued, "When we are learning things online we are just learning random parts of school, but when we’re in school we learn more of the details about subjects." She went on to say that when students are in the classroom they can have those private opportunities for one on one help, something Gray says she misses.
Like most students, she misses the interaction with seeing her friends and the activities that go along with attending school. With all the discussion about whether or not students should be going back, Asia was pretty articulate about her feelings. She questioned how exactly the schools would keep social distancing in place, or the students wearing masks, or how even how they will avoid kids just being kids. Like adults, these are the things that kids today wonder as well.
When asked how she would feel if she didn't return to the classroom for her 7th grade year Gray said, "I feel like I would be fine. Now I feel like the teachers have a good plan on what to do to teach us online. When things happened before it was just sort of thrown at them, and then thrown at us."
As for getting life back to normal, sadly Asia Gray, like many her age, feel that may simply be gone. "I don't think the world will every really be the same. Maybe once there is a vaccine it will be a little better, but never back to what was normal." With that we can only see how much innocence our kids have lost in such a short time.