Remote learning creates challenges


April Martinez

Remote learning has become a new reality in many schools, including Buffalo ISD. Although most schools have reopened, several students are still taking precautionary measures by staying at home. Buffalo High School is offering both face-to-face and remote options for students, with a number of students opting to remain at home for now.

“Online school is the best option for me,” senior Scarlet Carrillo said. “It lets me be safe at home and for me to work full time and study at my own pace.”

As the first week of school comes to an end, some students began to question whether remote learning was their best option. Students like junior Paige Daniel returned to school after struggling with the realities of online learning.

“I honestly thought it would be easier than going to school,” Daniel said. “I started falling behind, though, and that’s when I decided to go back to school.”

With remoting learning also comes the disadvantage of not being able to participate in sports or school activities. Several remote learners had to decide whether their safety or school activities were more important.

“Doing online school sounded like a good idea at first, but I really missed being in athletics and playing basketball,” sophomore Miranda Ramirez said. “I really didn’t want to miss the opportunity of playing basketball because of school.”

Some students are flourishing in the new online environment, and plan to stick to remote learning for now, at least.

“My parents made the decision for me and my brother to do remote learning, because we don’t want my grandmother to get sick or contribute to getting others sick,” sophomore Lindsey Hardin said. “I really enjoy being able to take the amount of time I need on assignments, whether that be longer or shorter, but I don’t like the communication with my teachers [to be] primarily through email.”

Even for students who have decided that staying home for now is best, there are negative points.

“I do miss my friends and the others at school,” Hardin said. “I miss having lunch and talking at the table, I miss the stupid discussions I’d have amongst my peers in class, but in the end I think it’s worth it to not take that risk, for myself and my family.”

Online students aren’t the only ones who are struggling with remote learning. Teachers now have to take extra time out of their day to create and assign work for their students learning remotely, which includes creating additional materials and video lessons.

“Remote learning requires a lot of work and it can be stressful at times,” Spanish teacher Maria Salazar said. “Principal Clements gave the teachers half of a school day each week to work on lesson plans, which helped to catch up, but it’s a lot.”

As the school year continues, students are having to adapt to these different changes. Nothing is guaranteed at the moment, but teachers and students are working their way around it.

“We’ve all lost something during this pandemic, but we should also focus on the positive,” junior Emma Adams said. “Everybody looks at the negative, but we should all be grateful that we are still healthy and happy.”