The Pros and Cons of In-Person Schooling

Thanks to the Omicron variant and a nationwide uptick in COVID-19 cases, many schools are opting to return to virtual learning in an effort to keep students, teachers, and their families safe and healthy. In other instances, students are fighting for a switch to remote learning, as the surging rate of infections has caused a major disruption in their in-person schooling. It’s important to balance fears over the highly-contagious variant with concerns that students may fall further behind with continual stop-and-start instruction. 

Today, we want to consider both the pros and cons of in-person schooling as a way to help you make the best decision for you and your family, should the need arise.

The Pros of In-Person Schooling

An important advantage to in-person learning is, of course, the socialization. In a traditional classroom, students naturally interact with one another and work on their social skills. Additionally, they engage face-to-face with their teachers, which helps teachers better understand if a student is struggling or falling behind. 

In a classroom, students are better able to focus and learn without distractions. While some students can easily complete their lessons virtually, others struggle to fully understand and retain the material. Plus, the classroom is fully stocked with all the supplies needed to complete assignments.

Along these same lines, when at school, students are very much on a level playing field. Virtual learning, though, may showcase inequities in living situations. Some students may even struggle to attend class without access to reliable Wi-Fi. 

Lastly, with many parents working from home, it’s important for students to attend in-person school and ensure that the home remains a quiet space for productivity. Parents who are unable to successfully work from home may rely on electronic devices to entertain their kids, which can lead to unmonitored and problematic time on social media.

The Cons of In-Person Learning

As mentioned above, the primary disadvantage of in-person schooling is the increased possibility of exposure to COVID-19. This risk factor is particularly difficult to navigate for students who may live with immunocompromised relatives. 

In response to this problem, some teachers have been able to rearrange their classrooms to accommodate for social distancing, while other schools have put mask mandates in place. Unfortunately, these changes and new rules can be challenging for both students and staff. 

Another con is that in-person schooling is not as flexible as virtual learning. A teacher has a strict schedule to follow, which leaves less time for individualized student support when required. Moreover, the cost to teach in-person is higher than virtual learning due to the increased need for supplies. 

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As you can see, there are pros and cons to both in-person schooling and virtual learning. Fortunately, since the start of the pandemic, schools and teachers have greatly improved their virtual learning capabilities, making it easier for students to determine what method works best for them and carry on in both situations. Ideally, all students will have access to in-person schooling, as the benefits to both learning and social skills are clear.

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