Which is better? Online or physical school?


Lizzette Rodriguez

This reporter, Lizzette Rodriguez, studies for an assignment.

The coronavirus pandemic has kept all of society locked within their own homes. Forcing kids to stay in their bedrooms, letting nothing but a screen be their teacher as the time and days start to melt together, but is this really as bad as it sounds? 

Online learning has become a huge part of students´ and parents´ lives and with it, comes both pros and cons. 

¨In-person learning is better because for certain classes when it’s hands-on learning and we aren’t learning as much as we would in a real class,¨ stated sophomore Emerly Jaimes.

¨Although online learning has its perks such as not having to wake up early to catch a bus and sit there for about an hour, not having to do many social interactions, and not being in the long line for lunch, it still doesn’t beat in-person learning,¨ Jaimes said.

Jaimes explains further that online learning can become tedious and a bore. This limits her ability to pay attention to the teacher’s lesson and leads to a domino effect from the quality of her assignments to the knowledge she can retain. 

When asked about class participation, Jaimes stated, “There´s less class participation and for me, it just feels awkward. No one really talks.¨

She also includes how staying at home has affected her negatively in many ways, but it has helped her in keeping up with her work. She sees this as a plus side to the difficulties she faced during COVID. 

Kathy VanDusen,  MCHS history and social sciences teacher, was asked whether or not she preferred online or physical learning. 

¨Definitely in-person because I am a people-person, I like that interaction but I am getting used to online; it’s just not something I want to continue,¨ said VanDusen. 

VanDusen also said, ¨It’s hard staying at home and doing online teaching, but it is do-able. I just feel for the students because I know they miss their friends and having that interaction with their teachers and the staff.”    

She is trying to be sensitive to her students’ situations since they all have something going on in their households and sometimes that prevents them from being able to participate in class. She doesn’t want to put students on the spot but she enjoys that interaction, especially during this difficult time. 

VanDusen sees one good thing about online learning.

¨The only advantage I see is that students are still able to continue to learn. It might not be as effective or as efficient but it still allows me to continue teaching,¨ said VanDusen.

Although students and teachers are going through this difficult time of online learning, VanDusen still cares for her students’ education and is trying her very best in providing them just that. She also states how her students have been taking advantage of this difficult time and are still persevering in their studies. 

¨I want to ensure they are engaged in the learning process and you can tell by what they produce. I am pleasantly pleased with all my classes and how they are adjusting to this difficult situation,¨ says VanDusen. 

LVN nurse and mother of three, Liz Rodriguez gives her opinion on the matter. 

¨Honestly, because during the year it’s so hectic, I am preferring the online. Both of my older children are able to stay on task, they’re getting their work done at their own pace. So for myself, personally, for my older daughter and son, I feel that online works better for them,¨ said Rodriguez.

But she went on to say, ¨As for my youngest I prefer that she goes to school in-person because she is little and I feel like she is still developing her social skills so for her, being in-person is meaningful. So I guess I have mixed feelings,¨ said Rodriguez.

When asked if there have been any positive and/or negative changes from her kids switching to online, she said, ¨For the little one it’s definitely been more negative. I think it was hard for her to log on at first, and it’s a little bit more difficult for her to stay on task, but I definitely try to do the reward system with her and encourage her. So I think that did help her, but then again I do think that her learning in person is better, ¨ said Rodriguez.

Recently, in the month of September, her youngest daughter has re-started school in-person. She commented on how sending her daughter to school can be worrisome and stressful. She doesn’t want to isolate her from that social and fun interaction with her classmates and teacher, but she also doesn’t want her getting sick. Overall, she is trying to have a positive attitude and mindset about the whole situation.

When discussing how distance learning has affected her kids, she stated, ¨They won’t admit it, but I can see a little bit of sadness and depression because they’re not getting enough sunlight and they don’t have that social hour. But they are still going to church with their small groups so that definitely does help with their depression,¨ said Rodriguez.

Working eight hours a day can be tiresome for a mother of three who comes home to a house full of noise. But she stated how this experience of being quarantined during COVID and this shift in learning has helped her family reconnect again. 

¨We definitely value each other´s time together more. We see how everything around us closed and everything was so uncertain except keeping a tight-knit with our family. I think that really helped us to make it through and moving forward I think this is going to be a lesson to my kids to think just stick together and stay positive, we can get through it,¨ said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez includes how she hopes the schools will be willing to let some kids stay at home, especially if they are doing well online.

¨I hope that they would consider letting some kids stay home because I had to adjust my lifestyle to accommodate my kids and to have to re-adjust will be hard again so if the kids want to be at home I think the school should accommodate that, especially if they are having good grades and if they are able to stay on task. And for sure, the kids that are struggling, they should go to school, especially elementary like my youngest daughter, ¨ said Rodriguez.