As one could predict, the current pandemic and the way it has changed our ways of life has naturally had a noticeable effect on students across America. With our last school year being cut short and students and teachers alike rushing to understand how the new technology worked, it was a very stressful time. Thus, both this and the quarantine-summer has and will continue to have a profound impact on students this school year.
First, coronavirus had an impact on mental health. Students and teachers are all nervous about the pandemic as well as their schooling. As brookings.edu states, “… teachers are scrambling to adapt content for an online platform and parents are juggling work responsibilities (if not joblessness) with caring for and educating their own children. Students themselves are faced with isolation, anxiety about a deadly virus, and uncertainty about the future.” However, in addition to this, students have to deal with the stress of just being at home. Being cooped up with even people you love dearly can make someone a little stir crazy, but some students live in abusive households, and they now have no temporary escape from this. An anonymous student brings up another point, saying, “I think kids need to go back to school because there are many children without siblings and they get hardly any social interaction. This can affect mental health immensely.” Clearly, this virus is not helping the mental health crisis in America.
In addition to having a negative impact on mental health, this pandemic is affecting and will continue to alter the quality of academics. For most students, the fact that we ended school in person in March and that we are currently online will have a natural effect on learning. This is because no one is used to working purely online or the new block schedule, so we not only have to learn material but we also need to learn how to learn. COVID-19 also widens the achievement gap. Even prior to this pandemic, a visible achievement gap has existed primarily between students of varying economic classes. First, students with disabilities, whether it be mental or physical, may not have the proper accommodations to learn. The achievement gap presents more when it comes to economic classes, however. The home life of higher class students may involve more additional enrichment than that of a lower class family. In addition, parents in higher class families are more likely to have a stay at home parent who can help students with learning than lower class families. Because we are at home much more nowadays, this will widen the differences in education at home. Edutopia.org additionally states that, “researchers also predict that the top third of students will make gains [in classes such as English, possibly because they’re likely to continue reading with their families while schools are closed, thus widening the achievement gap.” Also according to edutopia.org, a study predicts that students will reach only 66% of learning gains in English and only 44% in math. Therefore, the time spent at home due to coronavirus will tremendously alter the quality of student academics.
As one can see, COVID-19 will and already has had a substantial effect on students both mentally and in academics. It is especially important in this time to seek out help if you need it, whether it be tutoring or counseling. Stay safe and healthy!