In 2020, we all faced something completely new. We faced something that no one thought could exist. The corona virus. English classes are very interesting, but I do not like the fact that the students are not physically present.
Our lives did a 180-degree turn. They changed radically. The high school students had to get used to a new and an almost unknown way of teaching. The authorities created an online platform for distance learning and shortened the classes, but they also cut off all physical contact with the students of other ethnicities. We were neither aware nor prepared for the new normal.
Online classes have their own advantages and disadvantages and each of us finds our own way to adapt to the obligation to attend classes. Much like everyone else, I too got used to the new situation regarding the online classes, which are just as important as the regular ones in school. Granted, there were problems related to joining on the platform, weak internet connection or confusing one class with another and mistakenly entering someone else’s classroom. I liked the way we could join in, be it through a mobile phone, computer, laptop or some other smart device that supported the platform and allowed us to follow the classes.
Of course, online classes cannot replace our school. If I had to choose between school and online classes I would certainly choose school. The interaction between teachers and students is instrumental in the development of a person who is part of the educational process. Not only do I miss the classes but I also miss socializing. Secondary school friendships cannot be compared or replaced by anything. We did not care about our ethnicity, it was our friendship that was important, we were always getting along well and going for a cup of coffee after class, no one has ever tried to hurt or disturb the well-being of another person. The people we were then and the people we are now, nothing is the same, no one is the same, we are all exhausted, we do not have the communication we used to have.
In and of itself, the idea of joint classes is interesting, but I do not think that the basic goal can be achieved with online classes. There was no physical socializing and social contact with our Albanian peers. However, I am very grateful that we at least managed to keep in touch in some way, even though it was online, and I hope that when we get back to school, we will make up for the lost time and continue socializing.
When we were still going to school and the online classes have not yet started, our English teacher selected us to join a project with the Albanian class. As part of the project, we held joint classes together, learned a lot of new things and made new friends. When the online classes began, we continued to hold joint classes within the same project, but we all miss spending time together and learning in school.
However, distance learning was another “school” in our lives that taught us many good and useful things, but also some things that were not that good and that we should avoid in our lives. That is why we all want this situation to end as soon as possible and look forward to returning to school.
It was like a fairy tale to us students, we were happy and then we were sad. At first, we were all happy that there was no school, no tests, no exams, but then came the hard part. We were told we had to learn online, using computers, tablets, phones. We found it peculiar and interesting the first time, but then we realized that the school could not be replaced by anything. We did not spend any time together, locked up at home all day. You have to attend classes in front of the phone or computer almost every day, and then sometimes you run into a problem, such as running out of battery, poor internet connection etc.
The joint classes with students that study in Albanian language of instruction are good, but it was much better in the first semester of the last school year, when we were all in the classroom together and worked in groups, shared interesting information and had the opportunity to learn more about each other. Granted, online classes are good, but the effect is different when you greet your friend in person, when something makes you laugh in class and so on.