by The Lion’s Roar Editorial Staff
This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Leffell School allowed students to join their classes virtually through Zoom in order to accommodate. TLS has utilized this technology to allow students to join their classes remotely, either for a large portion of the year or for a sick day. Although schools may begin limiting the amount of Zoom usage in the fall, teachers should continue to allow students to Zoom into classes under certain circumstances so that students do not miss lessons unnecessarily and so that TLS can take advantage of the new resources that were implemented.
When students miss school, it is hard to make up the work and understand the material, so they should be able to continue attending their classes, even if not in the most ideal way. Although it is more challenging to participate in class via Zoom, it is easier to absorb the material if the student can hear the teacher explaining it rather than missing the class entirely. Furthermore, generally, when students miss a single day, it is not from unnecessary circumstances, but rather from sickness, vacation or doctor’s appointments. If students have a medical excuse, their parents may not be able to drive them to campus, so they would need to either join classes remotely or miss the day entirely, and it is not fair to limit the education of certain students by forbidding them to attend class on Zoom.
Now that Zoom has been incorporated into the education world, TLS should take advantage of it and use it to the best of its ability. As so many aspects of life including activities, weddings and b’nai mitzvah have shifted to Zoom, TLS should continue to incorporate this new part of the world into its teaching and learning environment. TLS should see the advantages of Zoom, including allowing students who are unable to be at school in person to join class, which have been highlighted due to COVID-19.
Although it is challenging for teachers to teach students both on Zoom and in person, the more difficult aspect is when students are constantly on Zoom, not just for the occasional sick day. When a student is virtual either permanently or for large amounts of time, it can be burdensome on the teacher to ensure that the student has received all of the information. However, when a student misses only a day or two, they will be more likely to be prepared for future lessons or tests if they attend the class via Zoom.
Therefore, next year students should be able to go to classes virtually when they are ill or have doctor appointments, but should not be allowed to participate remotely full-time. This solution would allow TLS to utilize the technology this year has provided, while still being considerate to the needs of both students and teachers alike.