President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden visited a Virginia fifth-grade classroom and were bluntly told by students that virtual learning gives them a chance to nap, eat and – if they don’t know the answer to a question – pretend their microphone doesn’t work.
One student told the president that, “If we were really tired, we could like take a little nap.” Another spoke of food: “Sometimes when Ms. B was like paying attention to something else you could eat and it was fun.” But the most telling answer came from one student who unabashedly noted, “If you don’t know the question, you can just pretend like your mic doesn’t work.”
Yorktown Elementary School is in session four days a week now on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. On Wednesday, the school is closed for cleaning. In their classrooms, the children are socially distanced, wear masks, and sit behind plexiglass barriers.
The students showed the Bidens their science projects and then President Biden asked them about their virtual learning experiences… he got an earful.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
“It was OK,” one student remarked. Others just seemed to groan over the question.
“I liked it,” another student claimed.
“I didn’t like virtual,” one student told Jill Biden. “It was terrible.”
“It was difficult with all the glitches, but it ended up being pretty good. I definitely prefer it this way,” another student truthfully recounted.
Jill Biden stated that she had watched students “just turn off the camera” during classes following the student’s comment about taking naps. When the student mentioned pretending that the mic didn’t work when called on to answer questions, Biden responded “Oh, great!”
The teacher, Ms. B., explained the benefits of in-person learning to the First Couple.
“Our students actually have a lot of opportunities to work hands-on with materials like this all the time. My class knows I love science so I try to incorporate as much hands-on activity as possible,” she pointed out.
“With York County’s return-to-school plan, our students, yes, they’re distanced, they have their masks on, they have their shields for their extra safety measures, and their desks are wiped down,” Ms. B continued.
Teachers are an extraordinary force for good in our nation — I’m lucky enough to be married to one and have seen firsthand how hard they work for their students. This year teachers have gone above and beyond to help children learn through the pandemic. So please, thank a teacher. pic.twitter.com/NbzPJ1S7H1
— President Biden (@POTUS) May 3, 2021
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Biden asked a number of the students.
“This is ninth grade right?” Biden kidded. “It seems like ninth grade. You’re smart,” the president told the children.
While the pandemic has raged over the last year, many students subjected to virtual learning have reportedly fallen behind academically. At-home learning requires discipline and oversight by an adult to be truly effective most of the time.
The Bidens visited the school as part of the president’s “Getting America Back on Track” tour. The president is promoting his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan. After visiting the school, the Bidens spoke at Virginia’s Tidewater Community College. Biden claimed that returning children to classrooms was one of his “top priorities” after becoming President.
“We just visited, by the way, a fifth-grade classroom in Yorktown earlier today,” Biden declared. “The students are back together with their classmates and teachers in school. And we saw what being in school means for those kids. Safely reopening a majority of K-8 schools was one of my top priorities in my first 100 days.”
“Because there’s so much that happens when they don’t have the certitude and the companionship and the familiarity of being with their friends,” he added. “They’re all our children and they are the kite strings that literally lift our national ambitions aloft. So, we’ve got to invest in them.”
Biden is also pushing for more schooling, funded ostensibly by the government and taxes: “When America made 12 years of public education universal in America in the early 1900s, it made us the best-educated nation in the world,” Biden noted. “The rest of the world has caught up to us. They’re not waiting. And 12 years is no longer enough to compete with the world in the 21st century and lead the 21st century.”
The Biden administration has faced staunch criticism for consulting the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the nation’s second-largest teachers union, concerning its school reopening guidelines.
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