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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Butterfly Effect of Distance Learning

Children can be undeniably difficult at times. This claim has always been true, but nobody understands this struggle as well as teachers.

The assumption made by most adults is that even the youngest child can establish the fine line of respect that separates a parent from a teacher and that even the most unmotivated child can recognize the necessity of a basic education.

What this assumption fails to take into account, however, is the drastic differences between the modern education system and the education system decades ago. The reigning cause of this contrast is none other than COVID.

Looking at it from a broadened perspective, COVID was and continues to be more than just a disease. The pandemic serves as a butterfly effect with countless branches of looming consequences.

In the case of students today, distance learning is a massive factor in the shocking behavior that has been displayed inside classrooms.

Besides the occasional passed note or cliché spitball, classrooms were not always seen as a battlefield. Since the end of distance learning saw children returning to schools, behavioral issues are at an all-time high, and report cards are at an all-time low. The lack of control over students has caused many teachers to resent their jobs or quit altogether.

For those who experienced an average K-12 education with no interruptions, school was seen as mandatory. It may not have been an incredibly enjoyable thing, but it was something that had to be done nonetheless.

This mentality was practically discarded altogether with the introduction of distance learning. With adults being busy with their own work, students were left to develop academic integrity all on their own.

But what is academic integrity when the camera turns off, or when the “New Tab” button, with its infinite sources of entertainment, is just a click away?

And what can a teacher do to control a student on a foreign app, or reprimand a child with the ability to mute them with the press of a button?

The term “distance” slowly morphed into “isolation” as the pandemic progressed. All of the basic social, mental, and motor skills that make school such a fundamental place for children were replaced with what seemed to be pointless practice problems and breakout rooms occupied by faceless, muted peers.

It is safe to say that during the pandemic a lot became unfamiliar. Established routines were wiped away and everyone had to make incredible adjustments in their lives.

Children suffer the consequences of this claim the hardest. Now that people have returned to the workplace, the routine that they previously kept resumes.

For a lot of younger students, the solid foundation for education was stripped away before it had a chance to develop in the first place.

The image of students today and students pre-pandemic are so drastically different because school had never previously seemed like an optional, part-time thing.

It is easy for an adult to expect a child to know how to behave in a classroom setting because that was the standard that they grew up with and intended for their children to know as well. It is a cycle that has gone on for centuries, but it has never been something that was thought to require a lesson.

Parents of students neglect to teach their kids proper respect toward staff and classroom etiquette, and as a result, teachers are finding it harder now than ever before to connect with their students from an emotional as well as authoritative standpoint.

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