Student perspective: online learning here vs. Mexico

Reporter Paola Zapata shares the differences she noticed in how Mexican schools are approaching online learning in the pandemic versus how HCP is teaching online

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Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels

Schools across the globe have had to adapt to learning in a pandemic.

Paola Zapata , Reporter

AT THE START OF COVID-19:  

America wasn’t the only country that had to go on lockdown, many students all over the world had to start online classes, and it wasn’t easy. Many students and teachers had a rough time with this. Teachers and schools all over the world had to figure out another way for students to keep on learning. While HCP and Mexican students are both doing online school, Mexican students have it a little tougher.   

HCP STUDENTS HAVE IT EASIER:  

HCP students are far more privileged than Mexican students, as many students have laptops and internet at home, or have been provided with nece. Mexican schools had to improvise. The students in Mexico that do have the internet can use programs like WhatsApp, Schoology, Aula virtual, Gmail, Google Meet and Zoom. Mexican students without internet use workbooks and can watch a specific channel on TV that airs lessons throughout the day, although it is mainly elementary and middle school students who use these options.    

SCHEDULES:   

High school students in Mexico do have a schedule for their online classes, but it depends on if they have morning or afternoon classes. Morning classes are from 7:50 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Afternoon classes are from 1:40 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. HCP students online have one schedule that runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. with scheduled breaks.

SIMILARITIES WITH UNIFORM:   

HCP and Mexican schools do have some similarities, though. Both wear uniforms. The majority of Mexican schools have to wear a uniform. HCP students wear a green/white/black polo shirt, khaki/blue pants, khaki/blue/plaid skirt, belt, with options for sweatshirts and sweaters if the weather is cold. Mexican schools however, are more strict. Mexican boys wear dress pants, a white-collar shirt, a school vest, a school sweater, and white socks with black dress shoes. Mexican girls wear dress shirts, school vests, school sweaters, a knee-length skirts, white stockings, and black shoes.  

NUMBER OF CLASSES:   

Another similarity is that HCP and Mexican students both have six or seven classes. Although in-person HCP has 40 minute classes and Mexican schools have 50 minute classes. In most Mexican schools students are put into groups where the students stay in the classroom and the teachers travel from class to class to teach. 

OPINIONS FROM MADAY GALLEGOS (MEXICAN STUDENT)  

+ PAOLA ZAPATA (ME, HCP STUDENT):   

How has school been online?   

Maday Gallegos: “It’s easier to be in person. With online school it is tougher because you learn less. In person, you get to interact and process the information easier, but online it is harder to focus and pay attention.” (translated from Spanish)   

Paola Zapata: “School online has been tough. It’s a lot! School online has stressed me out way more than school in person does. I got to use Edgenuity for the first semester and it was hard to keep up. I needed a ton of help and thankfully I was still able to email HCP teachers. My sister was also very helpful. The only good thing that comes out of online school is that I don’t have to leave my house.”

How has the day changed?    

Maday Gallegos: “School in person was only a couple of hours a day, but online it seems like ALL day because I am constantly checking my phone to see if I have any assignments. The time I wake up has changed, too. I can wake up later than I usually did. With school online, sometimes I have to stay up till 2-3 a.m. doing homework.” (translated from Spanish)   

Paola Zapata: “Since I did Edgenuity for the first semester I was able to wake up whenever I wanted. I messed up my sleeping schedule so much. I was going to sleep at 3-5 a.m. and waking up around noon. I was even able to come to Mexico for two months since we knew for sure that Edgenuity students wouldn’t return to school in person if the other students did. Now that I have changed the way I do online school, I do have to go to sleep earlier and wake up even earlier. School at the moment isn’t too stressful, and I’m honestly glad I’m not doing Edgenuity again. It is very hard to teach yourself.”    

What is something you miss from in person school?   

Maday Gallegos said: “Getting out of the house and seeing different people. I miss talking to friends in person and meeting new people. I also miss group work too.” (translated from Spanish)  

Paola Zapata: “I miss having a schedule for the day. Some days I felt like a robot doing the same thing every day, but I miss having a schedule. I hate to admit it, but I do miss getting out of the house. I love my room so much, but it’s good to get out of the house and see people once in a while!”