🏠😷🦠 Life As A QuaranTEEN 🦠😷🏠 The UnifiEd Student Voice Team Blog Surrounding COVID-19 and the Associated School Closure
The biggest problem that I have personally faced is communication, or well, lack of communication. In addition to the lack of communication, there are several different versions of the same information being...
disseminated to families within Hamilton County. My family is at four different schools which all give out different information. Even more, teachers don’t even communicate that well, as this is all new to them too. It is very hard to know what is going on when everyone is saying something different and saying it in a different way. Thus, we need to have one uniform way of doing things to ensure that students are receiving consistent and clear information. Even more than that, we need to be conscious of the different ways that people are experiencing this epidemic across the county.
I live on Signal Mountain. I have my own computer. I have Wifi. I am very lucky. Right now, almost everyone is doing things virtually. However, I feel as though we are not acknowledging those who can’t get online. Not everyone has a stable internet connection, not everyone has a computer. We are actively leaving kids behind as we mandate that everything be done virtually. We are fortunate in Hamilton County that the Middle and High School students have gone 1:1 through the use of Chromebooks. However, the Elementary School students aren’t that lucky. Students in other counties aren’t that lucky. Even here in Hamilton County our students are facing tremendous hardships throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, even if they have internet and computer access. Families are suffering financially. Students are suffering mentally. Our home environment is so much different than our school one. There are new distractions and new complications. Some parents might not let their kids have the computer the whole day, or maybe they have to share a computer with siblings. Sometimes kids need to help out at home. Even teachers are struggling with this change. Especially those with young kids who are trying to balance their home and work life when there are no longer any physical boundaries between them. We are not doing enough to allow everyone to flourish at home and we need to change this drastically if we are going to continue this way. We need less work with more learning. Even kindergartens are drowning in mind numbingly boring work. We need wifi for all students, we need interactive learning, we need to reach out to the students in need so that they don’t fall behind. We need to show that we care about the whole child and that we care about every single student: the poor ones, the disabled ones, the needy ones, the smart ones, and every child in between.
Many students have been struggling with their mental health during this time. I have been getting numb super easily. I guess another word for this would be dissociating. It's like a lack of emotions. I don’t really feel stress or sadness or happiness, I’m just here. Like everyone is always talking about how much they miss their friends, but I don’t know if I actually miss them or if I have convinced myself that I should miss people. The biggest mental health issue that I have faced has been the sheer amount of stress that I am facing through online school. I have been getting lots of attacks, which come in all shapes and forms: anxiety attacks, panic attacks, “fits” of extreme emotions. In order to cope with these mental health issues I have been playing a lot of Animal Crossing lately. I play it for stress relief. Other things I have done include making some earrings and playing with my dogs. Overall, online school has been really tough to figure out and in all honestly I think we will finish the school year before we finish figuring it out.