Online Students Combat Disconnection, Fatigue

Remote learning widens gap between in person and online students


Christina Chekerdjieva

Remote Student Christina Chekerdjieva’s at-home work space

Christina Chekerdjieva, Perspectives Editor

While the whole community prepared for the Hybrid Teaching and Learning Plan, a few students chose to stay inside and learn through Zoom remotely. My decision to stay online was quite obvious because I live with my grandma, who is in the high risk category.

 While other remote students I talked to stated similar reasons for staying home, Nora Cornell ‘21 explained, “the less people there are in the building, the safer we are.” Not only is this respectful and considerate, but also logical to the issue we are trying to resolve. 

When I went full online, I understood that the majority would be excited to get back to school, but I wasn’t expecting to be the only distanced person in most of my classes. On the first day of school, the total number of distanced students across all four Upper School grades was just under 40. I was surprised that more didn’t make the same decision as Cornell, but I understood why. 

Being online comes with added responsibility– communicating with teachers, catching up on work you could not learn during class due to technical difficulties, and trying to stay attentive when you’ve been staring at a live stream all day are just a few examples. While the disconnect is a challenge, I’ve also felt that teachers have put an immense amount of effort and care into making us feel included. 

Technical difficulties are out of their control, and they are always trying their best to have us participate and feel heard by the class. In my International Relations class, I am the only remote student, but everyone logs into a Zoom call so I can be a part of class discussions. The school’s standard of accommodation for online students of just a live stream is simply not enough, so I appreciate it when teachers go the extra mile and involve me as much as possible.  I know I can complain about sitting in my room all day, but I do not want to because it would undermine the hard work of the faculty to make our experience feel as normal as possible in a time when the circumstances are completely out of anyone’s control.