Different Experiences On Zoom For Everyone

Going to school looks a little different this year for students and teachers all across the country. Some schools have gone back in person and, just like RMHS, other schools are continuing remote learning. 

Online classes have been an adjustment for both students and teachers. Seniors had to miss out on their last first day of high school and freshmen had to miss out on their first day of high school. These adjustments have come with challenges along the way. 

Seniors are supposed to be experiencing their last moments of everything in high school right now. Their last football season, their last year for extracurriculars in high school and their last year to be with all of their friends and classmates. So this time right now has been especially hard for seniors as they go through the start of the school year while missing out on just about everything. 

“The first day/week went alright with school,” senior Jenna Windhorst said. “Since I’m a senior it was sad though because I couldn’t see any of my friends.”

But even though this is their fourth year of high school, that doesn’t mean that this school year  has come without challenges. 

Some challenges I found from zoom [so far] was having a harder time paying attention to a screen for that long,” Windhorst said. “It’s honestly harder to work in groups now because the break out rooms are a lot of times very awkward, so some people aren’t really discussing anything in them.”

The sophomores, juniors and seniors do have a leg up on the freshmen because the freshmen are coming into a brand new school with a lot of unfamiliar faces. At the same time, freshmen are trying to get to know new classmates while trying to adjust to the high school life, which can be hard in remote learning environments. 

Coming into high school, freshmen look forward to joining sports teams, clubs and various other activities to get to know people, but unfortunately this year they are limited to only so many because of various cancellations.

But, students are not the only ones facing  challenges  when it comes to remote learning. Teachers and other staff members have also experienced them during the first week of school. 

My biggest personal challenge with e-learning is making sure my students do not suffer emotionally or academically because of e-learning,” Spanish teacher Kelly Tobecksen said. “It will be a challenge to build a class community through Zoom. My course-alike team and I will be working extra diligently to figure this out.”

Despite these setbacks and missed opportunities, there are still some positives for students due to this remote learning situation. RMHS now starts the school day off at ten in the morning instead of at eight, so students now get a chance to sleep in on the weekdays and are able to get more hours of sleep at night. Also, students are able to get a lot of one-on-one help with teachers before and after school through open Zoom meetings.

The first week of e-learning went well, it was easy to get onto all of my zoom classes,” freshman Julia Ingemunen said. “An advantage is being able to just be at home and being able to get whatever I need whenever I need it.” 

Teachers also had some advantages to remote learning, like students do. Although it may be hard to get to know their class through zoom, they are trying to make the best of it and learn all that they can about their new students this school year. 

“My only personal advantage of e-learning is that I am able to be home with my own kids to help them with their e-learning,” Tobecksen said. 

Now, Seniors are trying to make the best of their last year of high school even though right now they can’t do everything that they hoped for, while the freshmen are trying to adjust to their first year of high school the best they can. Teachers now have to try to balance coping with the effects of remote learning on students while trying to actually teach meaningful content.