Featured image by Syda Productions
Written by Bella Richmond, Intern, Met Sacramento High School
In the two previous articles, Adapting to Pandemic Learning…Again and The Challenges of Educating In Person, In a Pandemic, I interviewed four students and three educators at the Met Sacramento High School to better understand how people are adapting to in-person learning. The students are happy to be back at school, and they talked about the complications in coming back from distance-learning. The educators are equally happy to be in-person, and they spoke about the difficulty in adapting underclassmen to school during a teacher shortage and pandemic. From April 30th to May 20th, 2021, one hundred and thirty-six teachers responded to a survey conducted by the California Teacher Consultant Response Network, with 58% of teachers reporting that students’ excitement about being in school is greater than before the pandemic, and 69% noticing students’ ability to participate in classroom group activities is less now. In the interviews, each individual was asked what problems they see in adapting to education in-person and how those problems can be mitigated.
While everyone interviewed is happy to be back at school, there are valid concerns around how students are socially and academically fairing. According to one student, “the actual environment is different, and everyone needs to take the time to get used to that.” Kara, a junior, said, “I know there are a lot of people who thrived during distance learning, so for those individuals, going back to school is really difficult.” The Met’s Resource Specialist Program teacher, Scott Ford, said “it is impossible to say that a gap in adaptation is due to covid, but it certainly was made worse by covid.” Principal Denise Lambert said, “tenth graders were only on campus partially for a few months last year, so now we have two grade levels who don’t know the Met, opposed to one.” The problems students and teachers have to deal with now that school is back in-person are still not enough to put a damper on the excitement of the return.
Teachers and students are still not used to being back in-person but most are ready to meet the challenges head-on. For those students who were lost in the transition back to school, Kara said, “hopefully some parents will see that their kids thrive with homeschooling.” Many problems in adapting to in-person learning will smooth out, with one student saying, “the biggest solution is time.” The concerns of the educators lie with underclassmen who were not able to experience the full transition from middle school to high school. Principal Denise Lambert said, “If I had to do things over, I would have brought ninth and tenth graders on campus early.” According to one teacher, his goal is that a stricter routine for underclassmen will push them to where they need to be. It is my hope that moving forward, the education system shows understanding for all of us who are still catching up and falling behind due to circumstances created by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Bella Richmond is a junior at the Met Sacramento High School, and she is interning with the Tower of Youth two days a week at Capsity Oak Park. Bella is also a contributing Youth Media Reporter for AccessLocal.TV.