How the pandemic has affected students’ education and teachers’ way of teaching

February 20, 2024 /

By Iris Sigala

It’s been almost four years since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020, but it is still affecting student’s education to this day. Students and teachers at McFarland High School believe it’s still causing issues with students’ mental and physical health, opening students to a new and different type of learning environment, and has affected teachers in the way they teach. 

“COVID-19 had a big impact on students’ mental health. Once kids returned to regular face-to-face school a lot of the kids have been suffering from anxiety, a lot of the social problems are what we’re seeing a lot of the kids do not want to leave their homes. They’re like embarrassed. It seems like they don’t know how to communicate with their classmates anymore so there like a lot of walls that I feel have been built up and we just need to work on giving that confidence back to these kids and get that communication going again and we’ll be okay,” Maribel Bujanda Fernandez, a counselor at Mcfarland High School, shared.

Fernandez continued by adding that their physical health has been affected as well. With a lot of kids just staying home, the students were unable to intake fresh air daily.

“I mean just trying to find some other kind of activity that they could have done on their own and a lot of that was not done. A lot of the kids again were just isolated in single rooms and that just really caused a lot of problems on their physical health and mental health,” Fernandez added.

McFarland High School social science teacher Stephanie Valdivia also added her input, stating that she believes that COVID-19 not only impacted students’ learning abilities but also their social interactions.

“I think COVID was a challenging time for a lot of people and a lot of students were at home and doing work on the computer which is great because we are moving more towards a technology world so I think that’s wonderful that they were being experts or learning to be experts when it comes to canvas or google classroom,” Valdivia stated. “I think that was more of a challenge because their teacher wasn’t there to help them learn the material and maybe provide more of that one-on-one support that we could if they were in the classroom.” 

So this changing learning environment had both a negative and positive impact on students learning by themselves with help from the teacher and increasing their knowledge in knowing how to use more technological tools but also in not being able to be in person and learn while the teacher is present teaching in person. 

Valdivia also commented that: “ I think it affected teachers in just being able to teach content. I think after the pandemic being able to teach material we had to be more creative which is a good thing I think that we are shifting, education has shifted since the pandemic our students and teachers have learned to use more technology which is great but I think it made teachers think outside the box how can we teach students and be fun and creative and so teach material so I think that although it’s challenging to think outside the box I think it’s a good thing. I think the pandemic has taught us a lot. I’m taking it more as a learning opportunity for me as an educator. How can I teach material that is important and relevant and do it in a way that my students are going to understand? I think every teacher might have a different perspective but for me, I choose to see a positive in it and I think it’s great it’s going to make me a better teacher and that’s what I want for my students.”