Social distancing brings families closer together

HTML tutorial

As the nation’s largest school district approached a remote learning plan, New York City teachers and students alike adjusted to several changes, both educational and within their families. 

For teachers, running a class video call may mean turning their homes into classrooms. Physics teacher Joshua Raghunath stated, “Adjusting to COVID-19 at home has not been the easiest as I have three year-old and a six year-old daughter at home. Both my wife and I have to work remotely and so we typically have one or both of the girls popping into our video conferences daily.” However, he added, “I enjoy playing a more active role in my daughter’s education as I feel like I am able to challenge her more in our 1-on-1 setting than her current teacher can in the school classroom setting.”

Harrisites also shared how their families were adapting to the new situation. Freshman Elliot Heath stated, “My family and I are adapting well to these new circumstances. We only go out when we absolutely have to, usually to go to the supermarket. Both my parents are working from home, which was relatively easy for them to adjust to.”

Others have seen improvements in day-to-day family life. Sophomore Ashley Kodowa expressed, “I think now that we have more time to spend with each other, we’re getting along better. I feel like daily life in our house hasn’t changed very much, but we’ve learned to become a lot more appreciative of the time we spend with each other, and to make some fun memories out of this whole experience.”

Senior Charissa Bachan misses having school as an outlet. “I have little to no privacy anymore, which is really starting to frustrate me,” she said.

For some, the increased time at home has also brought some conflicts in terms of schooling., “When I’m on a Zoom call or a Google Meet call, I usually try to isolate myself in a room and warn [my family] that I’m going to be going on a call, but sometimes, they’ll still walk in without warning and I’ll have to mute the call so they can talk to me,” Ashley expressed. “Also, I’ve found that when all of us log onto our devices at the same time to get our work done, we’ll sometimes have problems with the wifi.”

Charissa added, “My parents are very loud people and we live in an apartment so finding the space to work is really hard. Because of that I find it extremely hard to focus during the day, so I do most of my work at night when everyone is asleep so I can be alone and focus.”

Staying home has brought changes to our community in one form or another. “Part of staying home with my family can be significantly less stressful. I wake up hours after I would have to if I were to go to school normally, and I get better quality meals at home than I would from the school cafeteria,” Elliot concluded. “Thankfully, staying home with my family has not caused any serious challenges to my work.”