I’m a High School Student. I Don’t Want Online Learning to End.
‘Just as we had to shrink our lives by living inside, we also need to expand how we define public education.’
This op-ed was written by Rory Selinger, a 14-year-old high school student in New York State.
There are many things I miss about my pre-pandemic life. Attending school in person is not one of them.
I’m a very motivated high school student. I like school. But switching to online learning has been the best thing to happen to my education. It’s reduced the social pressure I feel taking exams, allowed me to get immediate feedback from teachers, and given me the freedom to embrace my own unique learning style.
One thing I hope people now realize is that education is not a one-size-fits-all model. While the self-disciplined nature of remote learning is not for everyone, it has allowed students like me to flourish unimpeded by the challenges presented by typical classroom settings.
For me, attending my public school online consists of synchronous classes five days a week and homework assigned daily. This workload requires comparable dedication to in-person learning. My classes begin at 7:40 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m. My teachers offer immediate feedback on the questions and comments that arise during class. Students are free to type and send questions whenever they have them without needing to wait to raise their hands.
I know I’m fortunate: My school’s program works well, but many do not. Some are entirely asynchronous. Others only offer live instruction a few times per week. I also realize that not all districts can provide up-to-date technology for students, and many homes lack good internet connections and computers of their own. Not all students have a dedicated workspace free from distraction, and too many others are dealing with much more severe challenges. I am old enough not to need monitoring to complete assignments, and lucky that if I happen to need assistance, both of my parents are available because they are working from home.
But school districts that have managed to pull off online education should pay close attention to its lessons. By learning away from the school campus, I…