Students Adjust to Educational Distancing

Serena Mancuso, Writer

With the unfortunate rise of the coronavirus pandemic, students and teachers nationwide have been forced to adjust to a new lifestyle of remote learning. Over a month ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that schools across New York will not be reopening for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, but that education must carry on at home.

 

Even more locally, students from Manhasset High School continue to work hard even if it means at a distance through computer screens. “It’s very tedious at times, and there are large inconsistencies with the amount of work assigned on some days, but you have to take into account that this whole situation is difficult for the teachers as well,” explains Michael Troia.

 

Troia is a junior at Manhasset who actively participates in his school’s engineering program. “Some days,” he says, “it will take me less than an hour [to complete schoolwork], and others could take between four to five hours.”  At first, the school closed down for only two days with intentions to reopen the following week, but numbers rose and news worsened.

 

Although the overall quality of education has depleted nationwide, teachers are doing the best they possibly can to replicate an average school day while also taking into account the hardships of their students back at home. But, now that the New York Regents Exams have been canceled, a question regarding the worth of remote learning has been raised. Troia argues, “I think it’s worth it, but I do not believe we are learning nearly as much as we would be in a normal school setting.”

 

Distance learning has brought a great deal of challenges, especially to families who find themselves unable to use computers or even access the Internet. In response, school districts have been making an effort to reach out to and provide these families with proper resources, but the demand is high. Therefore, some students are not participating in remote learning at all.

 

Not only that, but the coronavirus pandemic has raised difficulties between teens and their friendships. “I have been trying to keep in touch with friends, but it’s not the same as seeing them every day. Facetime, playing Xbox together, and just texting have become the new normal, and I only get to see my friends one, maybe two times a week,” Troia states.

 

Though schools are working hard to continue education at a distance, the near future will unfortunately remain indifferent. Isolation can take a large toll on the mentality of human beings, especially for teenagers, who base their daily lives off of social interaction. Troia concludes, “I think the main thing I miss about school is just being able to see and interact with people. Being isolated and only being around a small group of people is definitely making quarantine more difficult, but I try my best to keep myself busy.”