Class Then and Now

Gwen Blodgett, Journalist

Do you remember the way school was last year before the words quarantine and COVID- 19 were even in our minds? The way we could see our teachers and friends 5 days a week without having to worry if our masks were on right or if we were too close to someone. Ever since COVID hit us, all of our lives have changed tremendously, especially when it comes to school. I interviewed teachers and students at PVHS about their thoughts on the hybrid model and how school is today. They all had different thoughts and different likes and dislikes.
Kody Booth, a freshman here at PVHS, is a hybrid student. He talks about the hybrid model and says, “The hybrid model, I think, is ultimately easier to complete work at your own pace, and with less people at school we are able to get more 1 on 1 learning experience if needed.” He also adds in, “that it is easy to do work at home as he can pace himself as he pleases”. Kody comments on how we have to wear masks all day when at school and how it affects him, “Wearing a mask at school all day is awful. Makes breathing uncomfortable…” He says, “…since in the first period, I’m already tired, lack of fresh air doesn’t help.” The only thing he said he would change is he would add breaks outside for some fresh air.
Ricky Rayas, a sophomore at PVHS, who is also a hybrid student, had some comments on how school is today, “I’d prefer a normal schedule but hybrid is nice as well because I don’t have to wake up as early.” He thinks that, “it’s more difficult to get work done at home because there are more distractions.” He says wearing a mask at school does not bother him at all and that he would not change anything about the hybrid model.
The final person that was interviewed was Mrs. Sitter, an English and journalism teacher at Pahrump Valley High School. Mrs. Sitter starts out by saying that she has mixed feelings on the hybrid model “that changes on a daily basis. But, the one thing that doesn’t change is that I am grateful to be able to see most of my students in person throughout the week. Teaching 100% virtually takes away from the personal connections.” I asked her what it was like to have fewer students now when she teaches and she responded by saying that having fewer students in the classroom was nice and that “I have more time to spend with students one on one in the classroom. I wouldn’t say that it is easier because I am better able to notice when students in the classroom are struggling and I am able to spend more time supporting them, which takes more time, but is so worth it in the end.” She says that she knows it is important to wear the mask for the safety of others and herself, she also says what it’s like to teach and wear it, “ I do find that the recycled air that I am breathing all day causes a very tired throat and I lose my voice every afternoon. I’m also drinking less water, which doesn’t help my throat.” She continues saying, “ But, I think that the absolute worst thing is not being able to see my student’s faces and then see mine. We have so much social expression through our facial expressions and we miss out on so much communication with one another.” I also asked her what it was like to juggle online kids and kids in person, “ I won’t lie, it was really difficult at first to balance students in the classroom as well as online. I started out the year super frustrated and exhausted at the end of the school day.” The only thing she would change is, “I would like to see that teachers in the classroom are working only with the students in the classroom and not balancing both in person and online. Those students who are 100% virtual would then be taught by a different teacher who handles only online students. But, the current way of doing things is working and it can only get better.”
Everyone has mixed feelings about the current situation that we are in and this was just a few people’s thoughts on what is happening today with our school. There are so many things we can improve on in our near future and maybe some new big changes to what we are doing now.