RAMAZ ROUND TABLE: Do You Miss Zoom School?

RAMAZ ROUND TABLE: Do You Miss Zoom School?

Romi Chaovat ’24 

Every student, not only at Ramaz but throughout the world, has their own unique opinions and experiences when it comes to Zoom school. Some people loved it because studying in the confines of their room meant waking up later, no troubling commutes, and overall was more convenient. The opposite is said as well. Some students did not like online learning because they found it more challenging to focus and do well in their classes. Not only was it causing academic struggles, but social ones as well. I personally side with the latter group. 

Over the last year and a half, my thoughts about Zoom school have shifted quite a bit. In the beginning, learning from home seemed effortless and beneficial, but over time it became more of a burden than a blessing. Different challenges arose. They ranged from resisting the urge to go on my phone during class to talking to a family member in the middle, which never would have been a problem had we been in school.

When students walk into the school, there is a level of professionalism they have to uphold. Students can not come to school in their pajamas like some did on Zoom. I feel that going into the building fosters an environment where one of the main focuses is to learn; that feeling simply did not translate through the computer screen. Zoom school was enjoyable and immensely helpful while it lasted, but hopefully, it is a part of the past forever. 

Ashley Behm ’24

After learning at home for the past year and a half, I am very grateful to be back in the building full time. Nevertheless there are many components of Zoom school that I miss this year. Mainly the more relaxed schedule where school started later and ended earlier than we do this year. The shorter schedule left a lot more time for juggling extracurricular activities while leaving enough time to study for tests and do homework. Another bonus of Zoom days was not having to commute in the morning and being able to wake up later while still having time to eat a sufficient breakfast.

This year, having class from the comfort of my room while wearing pajamas is no longer possible and it has been difficult to get back into the groove of going to school every day coupled with a rigorous workload. While learning from home through Zoom comes with its own challenges, including endless wifi issues, there are many benefits to learning in a more comfortable environment. There is something comforting about not having to worry about getting to your locker and then your next class in a mere four minutes. Learning from home also eliminates the need to wear masks during class; wearing a mask can be a struggle and make classes unbearable. While I hope that Zoom school is a thing of the past, there will always be a part of me that misses it and the ease it brought to typically stressful aspects of school.

Aviva Schilowitz ’24

I’m probably the last person who should admit this — being the person who wrote a Rampage opinion column last year titled “Open Ramaz Upper School Normally Next School Year” — but, with the benefit of hindsight, I sort of miss last year’s hybrid schedule. Last year, coming in as a freshman, I was nervous about how Zoom school would play out. I thought I might struggle to learn effectively and make friends. However, as the year progressed, I noticed that I was looking forward to Zoom days because they were more relaxed and the extra down time helped me get my work done. As a student who commutes, I could sleep later on Zoom days and have a slower start in the morning. I also found it helpful for my mental health because there was plenty of time during the week to catch up on schoolwork, including during my lunch period and any other breaks I had throughout the day. If I had a hard day, I knew I had a break coming soon. 

Now, with school back to in-person every day, it’s hard to find time to catch up on work. I don’t have my Zoom days to look forward to. Now, I am often tired during the week because it is non-stop with no breaks. I miss the relaxed rhythm of the hybrid schedule. I also noticed that students seemed to be in higher spirits last year, probably because they were better rested and had more free time. School days are longer this year and most clubs are in-person. Classes meet more often and result in more homework. This all adds up to more work, without a Zoom day in sight to take a breather.  

Emily Vayner ‘23 

After what I thought would be a 2-week long break from school turned into a 2 year long pandemic, I heard myself repeatedly say the words I never thought I would; “All I want is to go back to school.” Personally, I do not miss Zoom school and hope to never return to an online learning environment. Although I do understand why socially-anxious students may prefer Zoom school, I think social interaction is beneficial for all, introverts and extroverts alike. Being in physical school enables students to speak face to face with one another, give each other hugs and high-fives, and provide support for one another in every way possible. Being in physical school also allows students to create more intimate student-teacher relationships. I feel as though my Junior-year teachers already know a lot more about me and my learning style than my Sophomore teachers, just because I was physically in school with them. Additionally, in-person clubs and sports teams not only allow for a more productive team, but also for the development of a tight-knit community with ones’ club or teammates. Students are able to express themselves through their clothing choices instead of being cut off at the shoulders by the borders of a computer screen. Rolling out of bed in pajamas into Talmud class where you are just one of many boxes pales in comparison to the motivation and enthusiasm students come to physical school with everyday. The Ramaz Upper School feels like a home to me — one I could never feel the same connection to through a computer screen.