PDS Students Recount Pleasant Experiences with In-Person Learning


Courtesy of Pexels (Julia M Cameron)

Spokesman Writer

This school year, many students across the globe were forced to attend classes via Zoom, without some of the same communicational aspects as previous years. Some schools, including Princeton Day School, however, gave the option to attend in-person classes or online classes with the addition of safety protocols and DTENS for the students attending school remotely to have the same experience. Ultimately, even with the new implementation of DTENS for the simulation of everyone in the classroom, there are many more benefits of in-person school compared to online schooling.

Learning through a screen inevitably means that interactions with teachers and friends are much different than those that in-person students have. Therefore, online students could experience decreased social interactions that would be useful in life when they are not present in a Zoom call. Also, in the classroom, there are fewer distractions; if a student were to be distracted in class by something such as a phone, a teacher will confiscate it and give it back after class ends. Alternatively, at home, students have access to all of their leisurely belongings such as their phones or video game consoles without a teacher preventing them from using their devices, which leads to more distractions and a lack of concentration, an important skill to have as a student. A lack of concentration could subsequently lead to a lack of education and knowledge that students will need throughout their lives, as well as preventing full potential as a student. As freshman Arun Patel states, “I like in-person school over remote because in person you can see your friends and you get movement. When you are remote, you sit in one area for the entire day with little movement.” In-person school is important for Patel and many other students or athletes who would like to stay active or in-shape for their current or upcoming sport. While the benefits of movement, communication, and a better learning environment make in-person school more beneficial, many online students at Princeton Day School choose to stay online for either safety reasons or personal matters. Specifically, freshman Arjun Ray stayed home for the beginning of his school year for his family’s safety and shares his experience: “Although I understood my parents’ safety concerns when I went virtual in September, I still feel extremely isolated as an online student. When I went back in person, it was lovely to feel that special connection to the rest of the school body.” Along with many other people, Ray feels he did not have the same sense of community when he was online compared to when he was in-person, where he could eat lunch with friends or directly meet with teachers, while still keeping his family safe with the COVID-19 protocols Princeton Day School has maintained. 

Regardless of the new implementations to accommodate the virtual students, in-person school has many more benefits, both academically and socially. Princeton Day School added stringent protocols for in-person students for safety such as masks being worn at all times, different lunch periods throughout the day, plexiglass in classrooms along many more implementations. With the safety of in-person school and the advantages of interaction with others, better opportunities, and stronger relationships with both friends and teachers, when allowed to receive an education remotely or in-person, in-person learning is the optimal option for students who are able to do so.