Transitioning from Virtual to In-Person Learning
On March 16, 2020, every school in Michigan transitioned to remote learning by order of Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The first shutdown was originally expected to last three weeks - four if you count Spring Break. However, the shutdown lasted until the end of the school year. For most people, this was their first experience with remote learning.
Summer passed quickly, and it was time for another school year. Many students began learning in person again, or a hybrid of virtual and in-person learning. Some families, however, chose to remain at home, and begin virtual learning at Michigan Virtual Academy; my family was one of those families. Along with my two younger sisters, I began to learn in a way I had never experienced. It seemed as though it would have been simple at first: there were a number of assignments, and no due dates, with the exception of a single class. Everything in the other classes was simply due by the end of the trimester. The workload, on the other hand, was high. I also never saw my teachers: there were no Zooms, only the occasional email when I was confused. Nonetheless, I did learn new material, and I understood a majority of it.
First trimester came to a close, and I, along with my sisters, decided to return to in-person learning. My first day of “in-person” was in a Zoom. While it may not have been perfect, it was refreshing to see a teacher in something other than a profile picture, and other students. A few weeks later, I was sitting at a desk in a real classroom, and I was happy to be there for once.
However difficult this year may be, we as a school need to keep our heads up, and stick together. Safely.