They have their opinions
Read part 2.
Recently, students in grades 5 & 6 participated in an online letter writing assignment, offering their opinions about distance learning in a letter to Superintendent Neil C.Cavallaro.
Teachers worked with the students on the elements of a formal letter combined with the process of opinion writing. District English Language Arts Coordinator Colette Bennett and Carrigan School Reading Consultant Latanya Joyner downloaded a number of these selections and sent them to Cavallaro to read and enjoy. The following are those letters.
While it did not surprise any of us that the students missed being at Carrigan, their opinions about learning online and the way they were expressed was “fantastic and enlightening,” according to Principal Richard Weber. We agree!
Dear Superintendent Neil Cavallaro:
As I sit at the desk in my bedroom attempting to write this letter, I can’t help but think how much I miss being in school. I truly never would have imagined that I would ever feel that way, but it’s true. I miss my dad driving me to the bus stop, we always tried to be the first car there. I miss chat- ting with my friends on the bus ride to school. We are starting to get used to the online schooling, but it doesn’t even come close to being in my class- room with my friends and my teachers.
Online schooling is not the same as what we do in class. My teachers al- ways found a way to add a little bit of fun and laughter while also teaching us new things. I couldn’t wait to start Carrigan. I was definitely a little nervous at first, but was so excited when I found out that Miss. Morrell was going to be my teacher. I first met Miss Morrell at street hockey camp and she was so nice. I’m so disappointed that I am missing all of this time in school with Miss Morrell and Mrs. Wyatt.
I miss walking into class and hearing Miss Morrell say good morning. I miss the laughs we all had during the day. I miss getting to work in groups with my friends to complete assignments. I miss gym, lunch and recess with my friends and cousins. I even kind of miss hearing Miss Morrell telling me to make sure I keep my desk clean. Miss Morrell and Mrs. Wyatt are really good about answering our questions over the computer, but it was so much better to be with them in person. I like the helpful hints Mrs. Wyatt would give me in class for my math problems. I liked being able to go up to Miss Morrell’s desk when I had a question about one of our work packets.
My parents and my teachers explained that online schooling is what we have to do for now in order to keep us safe. It’s kind of hard to understand at times, but I know it is for the best. I just really hope that we are able to get back to school before the end of the year. I want to be able to go on field trips with my class and participate in field day. It makes me sad to think that all of those fun end of the year activities that we all looked forward to all year will not happen.
Lastly, I want to tell you that I really hope that on April 20 you are able to tell us that we can go back to school. I know that you have to do what is best and what will keep us all safe, but I hope that I am able to spend the last part of the year with my friends and teachers.
Miss Morrell’s class
Dear Mr. Cavallaro,
I hope you’re having a good week. Although distant learning has been fun I do miss being in school because I miss seeing my teachers and friends. With my teachers I am physically explained, have somebody to correct me, and get to see Mrs. Cannon’s smile. Distant Learning doesn’t offer the same type of support and smiles that Carrigan has.
First, distant learning can get lonely. I miss playing and talking to my friends, my friends and I would al- ways play freeze tag or just tag at recess. When we didn’t have outside recess we would draw inside for recess or just talk at lunch. During distant learning, I can’t really talk or play with my friends. I can send them messages through Google Classroom but it’s not the same.
In addition, distant learning could be confusing. When there is a new topic posted it is hard to learn it by yourself. At least in school we have teachers who would explain everything to you and just give you extra support if you needed it. It’s different with technology than going to school with friends and teachers that help when we use this. It’s way different there’s less help, less talking, and less support.
Lastly, I miss going on the bus and going to Carrigan school. Carrigan is a fun school and a nice school. We al- ways had caring cougars, assemblies, and fun activities in specials. In Carrigan I miss all the old things we did. I hope we all come back soon.
In conclusion, I feel that distant learning might be helpful but it does not have the same spirit as Carrigan. Distant learning cannot replace Mrs. Cannon’s smile, friends, and Carrigan’s support.
Mrs. Cannon’s class
Dear Mr. Cavallaro:
I don’t really have a pro or con about this quarantine.I just seem like it’s not a bad idea and not a good one. The schools were smart to do home schooling.I don’t know what I would do the whole day without work! I feel like the schools have a point in closing schools and homeschooling instead. If the schools were to be opened,they would never know if someone was sick or not.
But, like I said,I also think it would be good to go back to school.I under- stand the ones that want to go back to school.To be honest, I want to go back to school, too. Personally, I think it’s better to go to school and learn than to just stay at home and do it. I like public schools because now how are we going to communicate with people. You might be saying “With phones” but what if a person didn’t have a phone.
In the end, it was truly a good idea to shut down the schools and do home- schooling instead. Like I said,I don’t have a vote in this because it was a good idea and a bad idea. But after all, the real thinking goes to you, the Superintendent. A suggestion from me is to make this homeschooling fun.I know it already is. For example, art is fun but I know it can be more fun by posting activities not just drawing. That’s not to say I don’t like art, but it is only an example. I hope everyone stays safe in this quarantine.
Mrs. Rice Class
Dear Mr. Cavallaro:
I personally am not a huge fan of distance learning. I am not learning as much as I would in school, there are problems sometimes when I try to turn my assignments in, and I miss my friends, and teachers. I think we all are going a little crazy, being stuck at home. It’s definitely taking some getting used to. I am not enjoying distance learning and here is why.
First of all, our school day is about 6 hours long, and my work can take me less than a hour, to a hour and a half. I am not learning new things, it is more like a review than learning. I think that they should put up new assignments that we haven’t learned, or maybe learned a little, and they can upload a video on how to do it, like they’ve been doing for the last assignments. I think that we should have an option, maybe if the work is too hard, you do the easier work. Plus, the teacher can help, or your parents can.
Also, sometimes there are issues when I try to do, or turn my work in. One day, I was about to start my math, and it wouldn’t let me type. My solution to that was to add an attachment and just do it on that. That worked fine. But, the other day, I finished my math work, and when I went to turn it in, it wouldn’t work, then they posted the same assignment, but it was supposed to be fixed. The same problem occurred. I couldn’t type, so I added an attachment. It was all set and I turned it in, but then they removed it. So, I ended up doing it 3 times. In school, we would not have this problem be- cause we hand the paper to ourselves.
Lastly, I miss all of my friends, and my teachers. The last time I saw some- one who wasn’t my family was the Friday that we were supposed to be gone for 2 weeks..which is not 2 weeks any- more. I didn’t realize that my friends actually keep me having fun, because while yes, I do have fun with my family, it just isn’t the same as being with your friends and having fun with them. What I think stinks the most is that the go back to school date keeps getting pushed, and I really hope that they do not cancel the year, because since I’ve got to Carrigan, I’ve always wanted to graduate.
I know school is canceled for our safety, but I hope we go back soon.
In conclusion, I hope we go back to school soon. All of these problems are affecting my learning, and I am nervous that I might not know what I need to know for 7th grade because of this. I hate being stuck at home, and not being able to see friends and not being able to go to school. I dislike distance learning for all of the reasons above. All I can say is that when we go back to school, I will never complain about it again.
Mrs. Sampietro’s Class