A Student’s View On Café Class


Virtual learning. Social distancing. Wearing masks. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it, and even as we slowly return to familiarity, our lifestyles and education have shifted to a “new normal.” Born from the pandemic, Café Class is a relatively new aspect of our daily lives as students. It is an alternative for having a substitute when a teacher is absent. Now, a class goes to a cafeteria to work, where they are supervised by other teachers. This system has sparked mixed emotions and perspectives, so I decided to interview several Lenape high schoolers to find out the general view students have on Café Class.

Question #1: How do you feel about Café Class, and why do you feel this way?

Through my conversations with students, I discovered no hatred surrounding Café Class. Most people do not mind it, and some find it enjoyable. They have expressed how without a substitute, the atmosphere is less intense, making the class a pleasant, relaxed time for work to be done. One senior described it as “like a study hall” because they are able to complete more work than usual while being able to talk to friends.

Question #2: What do you like about Café Class?

The answers to this question consistently applied to two main themes: freedom and the social aspect. Students like that through Café Class, they have the liberty to choose what to work on and when. Derek, a freshman, said that he enjoys “how it is independently paced.” This opportunity for students to progress at their own speed eliminates a lot of pressure during a hectic school day. One of the best feelings is when you complete all the assignments from your absent teacher, leaving you the rest of the period to do tasks for other classes, study, or just relax. 

Students also expressed how they appreciate their ability to speak to friends during the period. By sitting with peers of their choice, they claim that it betters their focus and makes group work much easier.

Question #3: What do you dislike?

Many complaints regarding Café Class were about noise regulation. The cafeterias can easily fill up with the sound of teenage chatter, causing distractions for those who want to be productive. A sophomore, Ava Spahr, told me, “I do not want to be distracted and unfocused while in school. It is where I go to learn.” Teachers will continuously ask for quiet, but some people ignore their efforts. If you are going to talk, just remember to do so at a low volume out of respect for your classmates. Disapproval from students also lies with how crowded the cafeterias can get, the busy work they receive, and dealing with the school’s infamously poor internet connection. 

Question #4: What should be changed?

As we sat in the crowded South Gym during Lunch and Learn, the Class of 2023’s Dylan Shugar pointed out the groups around us. He shared that he does not understand how in lunch, we can sit closely while unmasked, yet in Café Class, we are directed to sit in every other seat or all on one side of the table. A senior felt similarly. They wondered why it is allowed in regular classrooms for desks to be close together as that same practice is prohibited in Café Class. Students wear masks in both scenarios, so the confused senior bore the question, “What’s the difference?” Without consistency, many students see no use anymore in keeping the seating regulations. They actually believe that benefits could arise from letting them go, for sitting closely could make working in a group convenient and prevent a single class from taking up a lot of space. 

Other requests from students were to open up more locations for Café Class to prevent crowdedness and to return to the system of having substitute teachers. However, due to the state of the world and the pandemic, the practicality of these ideas is unclear to us. 


Although the people I interviewed are so different and do not know each other, their answers were extremely similar, proving how prevalent these views are. It seems as though Café Class is a well-liked system. It needs some adjustments, but at least no one dreads seeing their teacher’s name on the information boards!