How is distance learning is challenging and changing things at IMSA? - Lethzeylee Gutierrez ' 22 - Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

How is distance learning is challenging and changing things at IMSA? – Lethzeylee Gutierrez ‘ 22

Lethzeylee Gutierrez ’22

Aurora, IL

COVID-19 has impacted everyone in this world, but especially students and teachers. It is not easy being a teacher while in a pandemic, but it is mainly not easy being a student in a pandemic.

Teachers must learn how to be creative and engage in a virtual setting. Many students, including me, have lost motivation at times to be able to get our work done. I was able to get most of my assignments done before COVID-19x because I worked with other students. Even if we were not working on the same task, I had my friends near me. I have called my friends on Facetime while doing online work, but it is still not the same. I truly, realize to cherish all the moments in life because there will come a day when those moments will turn into memories. I have also learned to appreciate my teachers more during these difficult times because I truly realize the effort that they are putting into the virtual classroom.

Another thing to add is that at IMSA, I would not be doing my work in the same room I slept. But, at home, I do not have a room for myself other than my bedroom. I find it best whenever I dedicate a place to studying and another to sleep. It can be difficult, at times, to concentrate when doing homework in my room, and even though it takes me longer to finish assignments, I am still able to get them done.

Distance learning has also been challenging because most of the activities in class would be collaborative and discussion-based. Although the teachers try to mimic that in the virtual setting using breakout rooms, it is still not the same. Breakout rooms may be awkward at times because people are too shy to talk. In a classroom, everyone would be speaking at the group table whenever there was something to discuss or to work on assignments together.

Besides academics, residential life is another significant aspect of IMSA. The residential aspect of IMSA has been substantially impacted as well due to the pandemic. Although we have residential life on Thursdays, it is not the same as having wing programs or checks we had in person. I try to go to every program that we have that is not mandatory to bond with my wing, such as movie nights. I do greatly appreciate the residential counselors as well as the residential leaders for trying to mimic residential life how it was when we were on campus.

Although I can spend more time with my family, I would like to return to campus. I did not lack motivation when I was on campus, and I enjoyed having my friends in addition to wingmates around me. Even though it is challenging to be a student in a pandemic, I still try to find ways to connect with my friends and teachers.