From March of 2020 to March of 2021, a year later, students did not attend in-person classes. After schools shut down because of the pandemic, class work became optional to finish out the school year. For the 2020-21 school year, everyone was remote for the first semester and had the option to come back to in-person classes starting in March. While this was done for everyone’s health, there are some side effects that most people did not see coming.
The ages of children in school (4-18) are the years that most development happens in people. There are many social and academic skills that weren’t developed. Younger students don’t know how to spend the day in a classroom paying attention, middle schoolers are acting like elementary kids, and underclassmen in high school are acting like middle schoolers.
Many students cheated their way through the 2020-21 school year because being remote meant it was easier to get away with it. Most of those students are feeling the repercussions of those choices this year, now that the classes rely on material that was supposed to be learned the previous year. This also caused many students to lose their studying habits and student lifestyle.
Dropout rates increased substantially because it was hard to motivate people to stay in school while not face to face with them. Older students even took advantage of the remote classes by picking up shifts at work during class time. Those who did stay at home and “participate” in class were often actually sleeping away the school day.
The physical effects of being remote are subtle, but still there too. Doing the majority of their schoolwork on a laptop has affected almost everyone’s posture, with slouching being more prominent than it already was. Younger children, kindergarteners for example, have developed an attachment to their electronics (i.e. tablet, phone, television) because of the amount of time they had to spend on a screen last year.
Being away from society pulled many students towards bad habits like drinking, smoking, skipping school, and hanging with the wrong crowd. There is no telling how long the effects of COVID-19 will be noticeable in students.