Learning in the Virtual COVID Classroom


“Next Year, I won’t be taking any moment for granted.

School for the past eight months has been a blur. 

Starting in March, all students at Sonoma Valley High have been in an online school format, and have not returned to campus due to COVID-19. This has created many problems for me, but it also has had its benefits. 

Coming into my Junior year, and knowing it was going to be online, I was frightened. Junior year was always made out to be the hardest year of high school, and having the task of completing the year online was extremely daunting. It has been very difficult to adapt to not having access to my teachers to answer questions during passing periods, like we normally would, and reaching out for help has now become a more complicated process. 

Motivation, or rather the lack of, is also an issue with online school. There is no longer a separation between our learning and home environments. When on campus, students are more motivated because they have peers around them who are also doing work and wanting to learn. But being by yourself in your room, it is challenging to motivate yourself to get all your work done. 

The social aspect of high school, which is easily the most exciting part of the whole four years, has also been stripped from students. I personally find this hard as I am very social and love interacting with my friends and peers.

Aside from the negatives, there have been some unexpected benefits from this terrible situation. Now, at break and lunch I use my time to complete a lot of my work, while, if I was still at school, that time would be spent socializing. 

And through this whole process I have learned more about myself. I am fueled by social interactions, but I honestly can get a lot more schoolwork done online, as there are no distractions. 

On the other hand, with sports on hold as well, I now know how difficult it is to stay in shape on my own. 

Looking to the future, I’m hopeful to have another year left which (fingers crossed) will be on campus with my peers, trying to make the best out of a lost year. I assure you, I will not be taking any moment for granted.   

Rollo Benstead, 16, is a junior at Sonoma Valley High School and writes for the school newspaper, The Dragon’s Tale.

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