Remote Learning at HUHS

By Eli Beck

The 2020-2021 school year has been a year like no other. With the arrival of Covid-19 during the spring of this year the entire world has to shift and adapt to a way of life that most have never experienced before.
March 13th, 2020 was the last time students and staff had stepped foot into the Harwood building as the cases skyrocketed to the point that all classes went remote. This was a challenge for many in the HUHS community; some faced internet issues while others faced the struggles of learning without a teacher’s presence. No matter what the reason most students and teachers found it extremely difficult and challenging to finish the school year.
The summer arrived and with it a well-deserved break and time to regroup and prepare for one of the most challenging and unique school years ever seen before. The fall brought a handful of changes to just about every part of the school. Everything from scheduling to how you walk in the hallways was modified to ensure the safety of everyone.
“ I didn’t fully anticipate how much mental capacity was required to build a habit around the new schedule just to have it shift and I’m not sure the benefit outweighs the inconvenience,” said Matt Henchen, a teacher at Harwood Union High School, when asked how he thought the start of the school year went. “other than that I feel like things went really well and I feel like things were communicated very well to teachers and I feel like academic expectations for the year were communicated very well and the clarity from the administration helped with the planning process.” “I think it went as good as it could have,” He added. Although things seemed to be going as planned from the academic point of view, many overlooked the mental and physical health aspects of such a large shift in the education system.
“Remote learning took a toll on how I was feeling emotional because I wanted an aspect of seeing friends again, but while still keeping safe with COVID. I felt stressed at times that not everything would get done or I wouldn’t have had time to get to online class in time. It also took apart my physical well-being as well. Nobody likes to sit behind a computer screen for hours and I was getting pretty fed up at the time and got little to no exercise at that period. So yes, it did affect me.” This was the response from Sam Lesser, a senior at Harwood when asked how remote learning had affected him. He, like most others, has experienced the harsh reality of what Coronavirus and remote learning has done to students here at Harwood and shows the true importance of in-person school. A school is a place where kids and young adults not only get an education but they also get time to learn social skills, as well as stay active and healthy. These crucial experiences are almost impossible to replicate by looking into a camera and talking into a microphone all day.
“I think remote learning has had the biggest effect on me socially; school is where I see most people and with being out for so long and only coming to school two days a week I feel kinda awkward at school,” said Dylan Jones, a senior at Harwood. “I would say I am prepared to go back to remote learning, I didn’t really mind remote learning because of the flexibility of when I could do my work.” was his response when I asked him about being prepared in the event that we return to fully remote classes due to the rise in cases the past weeks. Although there are a lot of negative aspects that go with remote learning, a largely positive aspect is the flexibility we have seen with going remote. Learning from home has
opened doors to many students who were not big fans of the 7 hours a day, Monday through Friday schedule that has been around for decades. With flexibility, students can now have more time to balance school, jobs, and other things that were hard to balance before going remote.
When Covid-19 is under control, and the world returns back to normal. We will look back and see the negative moments that we had during remote learning. But we will also see the positive things. And these experiences may just change the way students learn for years to come.