How Sports Coming Back is Affecting the Classroom


Mattie Fitzpatrick, Editorial Board

The classrooms seem empty in school, but soon the fields won’t be. Most teachers teach to a small handful of kids while also teaching to those online who now make up the majority of their classes. More students are becoming remote learners and their absence is felt in the classroom. Having ten kids in a class is almost unheard of now and teachers have become so used to speaking and teaching to the gray backgrounds of zoom or Google Meet when teaching us.

Remote students are beginning to take up the majority of those in the “classroom.” Although these students aren’t attending school in-person, some of them are playing sports this coming season. With the ever-changing schedule and the constant quarantines, students are choosing being present for their sport or job over being present in school. Students are clearly feeling the stress of having to go full-remote to eliminate the risk. At no fault of the administration, some students, to avoid these annoyances, have gone full-remote to avoid these threats: the threat of being quarantined has gone way down when you’re not leaving the house.

For many student athletes, quarantine as a result of school exposure is not something that they want to risk. By going virtual (or being “hybrid” and just not coming in) it allows them to protect themselves from the risk of getting COVID or being quarantined because of coming to school. It gives them the security that they will not be quarantined due to a class exposure, which would then make them ineligible and unable to play their chosen sport.

Whether it’s basketball or skiing, for these student athletes, the game is important. Playing on a field with their teammates may be exactly what these students need, and if the price is going remote and doing school completely online, some are okay with it. Sports like basketball are set to start soon, and although there is an excitement in the air, it goes hand in hand with the uncertainty that they could lose their season, uncertainty that they’ll be quarantined, and uncertainty that their sport will be canceled: so they control what they can.

With the vaccinations coming out now, hopefully everyone will be back to school soon, and the choice will no longer have to be going to school in person or running the risk of losing the sport they love and play. What is for sure, though, is that teachers will certainly be glad to see their students’ faces again.

The fields and stands anxiously await our return, but so do the classrooms. With so many athletes choosing to stay remote to avoid exposure, the classroom has become more empty than ever.
Ms. Fine teaches two in-person students while the remaining choose a virtual option.