Senior year! The year many seniors are always waiting for in high school. Their last senior homecoming, last senior night, last sporting event, prom, and graduation is what most seniors have been eager to experience. However, this year seniors have a completely different school year than in the past. Remote Learning has postponed all events regarding big gatherings. The classroom setting is now from their homes; whether it’s from their beds, their kitchens, or their porch, students are now experiencing class virtually. Although many students have classes with good friends and peers, the virtual classroom is very different. Senior, Leena Abdelrahman, stated, “I really don’t like remote learning because it feels like I’m disconnected from reality. I miss interacting with classmates and seeing their faces. I feel like some teachers are moving too fast and students are shy and don’t speak up.” Many students can relate to this feeling because interacting virtually is different from interacting in person. Student engagement in the virtual classroom depends on how educators and students react to one another. Student and teacher interaction is a necessary component to learning, unless some may find it easier to handle on their own. Meeting in person with friends is also something many find they are missing. Being on camera is different for everyone. Even though students can literally see each other’s faces, many don’t like feeling like they’re the center of attention. Being in person provides comfort because students are always surrounded by others. Sitting next to at least one peer provides comfort even for the people who don’t need it.
As the virus goes on, the safety of staff and students is a top priority of Oak Lawn Community High School. Many students and teachers have adapted and are continuing to learn new skills in the virtual classroom. Senior, Anthony Hall, stated, “As of now remote learning is for sure a new way to learn outside of school. This has many challenges that us Spartans need to overcome as we are facing something not even in Oak Lawn Community High School history had to face. I must say that we need to keep working harder than ever before and we must push through. We need to push now so when we go back to school, we are still on the same course.” Even though the coronavirus has forced many schools into a crash course in virtual learning, students and teachers still have the capability of learning new concepts and topics. A possibility of returning to school in person is still in question, but as for now the Spartan community is giving their all in remote learning.