Interviews

The Effect of COVID-19 on Staff & Students

Dear COVID-19, 

 

What have you done to us? Your 2 year anniversary is coming up, but we’re not celebrating. We want you to leave, I mean we’ve been trying the whole vaccine solution since 2020, but you’re still here messing with our lives, specifically, with the students and teachers at Cameron Heights. As we move into 2022, we want to see how this global pandemic has affected CHCI throughout its journey. See if you can relate!

 

After comparing all the responses, we can see that students had similar thoughts about distance learning, but some of their opinions stayed separated.

 In our first question, we asked if distance learning affected this group of students positively or negatively in all aspects of their learning, in which the first two students interviewees said that distance learning was difficult to participate in. They said, more specifically, that it was hard to focus and to understand the concepts of what teachers were saying because there was a lack of student-teacher communication, not to mention, the classic distance learning WI-FI issues. The next question that was asked was which learning circumstance they prefer, consequently, most interviewees responded to preferring in-person schooling because it’s easier to understand the teacher and to focus in class. Additionally, the second student said that being with their peers was very motivational because seeing them work hard made them more determined in their studies. 

Looking at the next two student interviews, they had a different view of how COVID-19 affected them personally. They said that they both felt excluded from beneficial learning opportunities, but one student said, “it is far easier to — not cheat, necessarily, but I’d say “take advantage of” its benefits”, which is most likely very relatable for most students because they added, the fact that it was harder to contain the information that they applied on tests. But from a different perspective, the other student said that they didn’t feel motivated anymore. A unique point of view that was given was that because there weren’t any exciting activities anymore this made school feel like work, which in turn could have made it feel mandatory and not a privilege for students. 

       When distance learning started, these students said that it was hard to adjust because the curriculum was not the same, but the teachers did an amazing job trying to make online learning a healthy environment.

 

They sure did, they provided us with the necessary equipment to prosper. They gave their full support just like in school, and they also faced some challenges, some compared to the students. That’s why we asked a straightforward question, “How was teaching before covid?”. They found less pressure placed upon them, and they found that online school was a comfortable way for them, and their students to deliver. As you may know, students stay at Cameron for 4 years, but teachers stay at their school for many years, we wanted to know what did Cameron looked like before, and after covid. While you’re reading this, think about how Cameron changed. First, it’s the annoying rules, like the specific up & down staircases. Not only that you wouldn’t find the cramped hallways, that’s a good thing, but still a chance. Now, this next question is for all of you, “How did you feel when masks were mandatory?”. I say this once, and once only “ I hate masks”, I want them to perish in a firey pit. Ask anybody, they will say masks are horrible, during a normal school year, you wouldn’t find the wet masks of people. But, now you see them. Well, teachers did hate this new “cosmetic”, what they didn’t like was telling their students to pull up their masks. Yeah, I’m looking at you, I know you did that, you can’t lie about this.

 

Let’s just sweep that under the carpet, ok. Now teachers had problems just like you, and me. But, their problems, were a little complicated. As some people, especially students & parents, really believed that teachers can change anything, for example giving the student, extra attention so they don’t fail. Every single teacher spends their time, teaching class, and making assignments for their students so they could prosper. This problem of pressure didn’t only occur after lockdown, but sometimes before lockdown too, while teachers teach a class of 20+ students, it’s very difficult to take measures for individual help. We understand that both teachers, and students both have similarities & differences through the struggle they endured during the lock, and after. Finally, this question should give a few thoughts upon both groups, and they really must go deep through their mind, to understand this question. These questions consisted of “ During a normal year how were your students like ?” This response was not positive or negative, but neutral as we see these reports around us. Teachers had seen a variety of student behaviour, and maturity levels over the year, but this is high school. As most of you should know, we have all seen distractions and our lack of ability of following instructions. Now don’t lie to yourself, I mean come on, you have most likely looked at the birds out the window, and zoned out.

 

Both students and teachers are a big part of our CHCI community, they care about our pride & loyalty everywhere. Throughout this whole distance learning period, it is hard not to be a more mature person. Some gained a positive outlook on life to have more gratitude, but for some, it became harder to cope in the world we live in. From the past two years to the present, many of us have had time to reflect on ourselves and to learn new lessons that we will take with us wherever we go. 

 

 

By Krithik Mahesh & Aisha Ali

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