How COVID-19 Effected Elementary Students

Emma Ward, FCHS Journalist

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As students return to school this year, they still feel the impacts COVID-19 has had on their learning. Although some high school students have felt those impacts less than others, most elementary students have been set back significantly from a mostly virtual year. 

It’s no surprise that virtual learning would be much more difficult for elementary students than high school students. Still, many high school students don’t necessarily understand the difficulty virtual learning presented for elementary students and their parents.

The material taught in elementary school is the basis on which students continue to learn throughout their school years. With this in mind, how has COVID-19 impacted these students? And, will these setbacks impact these students in the future?

This year, elementary teachers are hard at work to help their students catch up on material they missed during the COVID-19 pandemic. By evaluating students’ capabilities and working to fill in the gaps left by virtual learning, teachers such as Elizabeth Ward are making sure these students are still set up for success in their later school years.

“I’m very relieved to be back in school full time this year.  It’s wonderful to be able to have a classroom full of students and make connections with them,” said second-grade teacher Elizabeth Ward. 

For some elementary school teachers, the biggest setback of the pandemic and a year of primarily virtual teaching has been the lack of social and emotional exposure.  Virtual education limited this aspect of the students’ development.  

¨In a lot of ways, we are all changed forever and on many different levels by the pandemic. I think, more than anything, there was an emotional and social setback.” said speech therapist Mallory O’Grady. Despite these setbacks, teachers are glad to have students back in the classroom regardless of the impacts COVID-19 has had on their learning.

¨I love to see kids in person.  I went into my profession to work with people, and nothing can replace being face to face in each other’s physical environment.¨, said O’Grady when asked how she felt about being back in the classroom full time this year.

This seems to be how many teachers and students alike are feeling in this time of uncertainty. Although this school year may not be perfect, being back in the classroom is a breath of fresh air for many.

Another second-grade teacher at Central Elementary School, Denise Avant, agreed that she was thrilled to be back in the classroom with students again. ¨Learning is doing, participating, engaging, asking questions that create a learning energy in the classroom.¨ added Avant.  

The challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic are not necessarily over, but teachers are truly happy to be with their students again. Many teachers believe that there is no substitute for in-person learning.