By Humaam Said*
On October 19th, Garnet Valley starts its hybrid model. While many oppose going back into schools, it’s important to realize that schools play an important role in fostering the growth of students. In person schooling benefits students through more attentive educational instruction and social development.
It’s no surprise that our education has lacked while we’ve been strapped at home at our computers, repeating the same cycle of waking up just in time to join Zoom calls. Teachers and students both know that it’s hard to get used to online learning, and succeeding in the newly acclimated environment is even harder. Over the summer, students can lose the progress they’ve made over the course of the previous school year. Can you imagine how retention compares to the seven months we’ve been away from school? The environment surrounding education is heavily influential to students. Without going to school — a dedicated place of learning — students are stuck in a suboptimal environment for their growth.
Social development is heavily nurtured by schools. Interpersonal, communication, and emotional skills are all fostered through the interactions that students have every day. Being at home severely limits these interactions and creates difficulties in learning how to communicate. While teachers can work to increase these skills in breakout rooms and through their online classes, limitations in time and internet connections makes it difficult for students to grow their skills. It’s no surprise that people need to talk to other people, not to computer screens. Because of this, returning to the hybrid model is going to help students grow and polish their communication skills going forward.
While the ongoing pandemic means that there still are risks associated with going back into school, increased safety measures such as distancing while in the classroom and mandatory mask policies help reduce the risk of infection. We lost a lot of education and social skills from our transition to the online classroom. As such, going back into schools is going to maintain social growth in students and minimize the impact of the pandemic on their learning environment.
*Said’s article does not reflect the views of all GVHS students