A fifth-grader told President Joe Biden that the ability to “pretend your mic isn’t working” was a benefit of virtual classrooms amid the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday.
Biden and First Lady Jill Biden heard from students and teachers during a visit to Yorktown Elementary School in Virginia. Students provided a range of responses when asked their thoughts on distance learning versus physical classrooms, with one girl suggesting that taking a nap and avoiding answering difficult questions was among the virtues of the students. virtual classrooms.
“Sometimes… if we were really tired then we could, you know, take a little nap,” the student said. “And if you don’t have the question, you can just pretend your mic isn’t working.”
Jill Biden, who chose to continue her job as an English teacher at Northern Virginia Community College while being first lady, said she saw students “just turn off the camera” during class after the girl’s comment on the nap. When the student mentioned that he claimed to have microphone issues while being called in to answer questions online, Biden replied “Oh, great!”
The school returned to face-to-face classes four out of five days a week, with a Wednesday break for cleaning. Students could be seen sitting at desks covered in plastic, while they, school staff and the Bidens all wore masks during the visit.
Another student described his time away from the classroom as “a little fun” due to the ability of the students to have snacks while the teacher “was looking after something else”. Another said they “definitely preferred” virtual classrooms despite “all the issues”. Not all of the students were enthusiastic about their time away from school, with one boy describing distance learning as “terrible”.
The first couple visited the school as part of the President’s “Getting America Back on Track” tour, promoting the US $ 1.8 trillion plan for families that he presented at the conference. ‘a joint session of Congress last week. After visiting the elementary school, the Bidens stopped by and spoke at Tidewater Community College in Virginia, where the president said getting children back to classrooms was one of his “top priorities” afterwards. he took up his post in January.
“We just visited, by the way, a fifth grade classroom in Yorktown earlier today,” Biden said. “The students are back with their classmates and teachers at school. And we saw what it means to be in school for these children.
“Because there is so much going on when they don’t have the certainty, the camaraderie and the familiarity of being with their friends,” Biden added. “It’s all our children and it’s the kite ropes that literally elevate our national ambitions. So we have to invest in it.
Newsweek contacted the White House for comment.