A Roller Coaster with a Twist by Haley Zhang, Age 12


NEW YORK, NY— People both hate and love e-learning. When I first heard that schools would be closed, I was happy. But then I realized that the school closing was not actually a holiday. On one hand, normal school is more fun and more productive than e-learning, I thought. On the other hand, with the pandemic, e-learning keeps your brain working and keeps your summer holidays free. I challenge you to reconsider your opinions, whatever they are, by taking you on my roller coaster.
At first I felt that e-learning was even worse than normal school, with teachers giving me twice as much work because I was home. Worse, before e-learning, we could talk with friends during lunch, discuss with classmates during lessons, and talk with teachers privately after class. Now we couldn’t. First, to be clear, I did NOT stand on the con side just because I just wanted a small break. Going to school is clearly better than going to classes at home. If you are at home, you might play video games while attending classes. Even though most schools have a rule that you need to open your camera, some students still can find ways to play.

Also, e-learning can affect the students who really want to learn. Different teachers have different strategies of telling students things like when the next class will be. That can be a disaster for some students like me. For example, I nearly missed all of my health class for a whole semester during quarantine just because that teacher used a different way to send out information for her class than other teachers.

Another reason is that e-learning classes are less interesting. Usually in normal class, teachers can play little games with our homework, and share thoughts about why or why not the answer to a problem works. But when we are in e-learning, all the feedback we have is a cold grade on our grade book.

But when I really sit down and think about it, it is really hard to think about reasons why I hate e-learning. The more I think of it, the more I think that e-learning is the right thing to do. If you are wondering why I am thinking that, read along!

First, we have to stop hoping that normalcy is around the corner. Imagine that you finally finished your last day of school in the calendar. Then the next day, your mom still drags you out of your bed. You finally realize that yesterday was not the last day of school, and you still have some months to go. It is not because your calendar is wrong, but because you still need to make up the days lost during the pandemic.

To put it simply, we can say that e-learning is a kind of vegetable, and if we don’t eat the vegetable, the future will be even more scary than this.
And if you still haven’t realized it, you can usually wake up at around 8:00am during e-learning, but when you go to school, you usually need to wake up at 7:00am in order to commute to school. Now, you can sleep through your commute times, just wake up, and you are in school already.
Also, some teachers—SOME teachers—might get happier, because they don’t need to face as many students and keep them quiet. And if the teacher is happy, without them even realizing why, you will get better grades.

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