Students connect with peers, teachers during return to in-person learning

Kara Bade, Staff Writer

   After almost a year being virtual, students have finally returned to school. There are some major changes due to COVID-19 protocols that both students and teachers have had to adapt to.

   Some of the biggest changes are the teaching style. It is difficult to balance teaching in-person with the online students. 

   “The first few days were very challenging as I learned how to balance and multitask the Teams call on my computer and my students in my classroom. I’ve never done anything like this before!” Elizabeth Berry said. 

   Besides all the COVID-19 restrictions, such as only being able to walk one way in the halls, masks on at all times, teachers seem very happy to have students back in their classrooms. When asked about the best part of returning to school and the big changes students talked about seeing their teachers while teachers were excited to see their students. 

   “Seeing my students in-person has been the best part for sure! I was so excited to meet my students and talk to them face-to-face. I’ve also enjoyed catching up with my colleagues that are back in person as well,” Berry said. 

   Students have picked up on their teachers’ enthusiasm as well. 

   “The best part so far is knowing that you are making the teachers happy by coming into school,” junior Claire Nowak said. 

   Making a student-teacher connection over Teams is hard, so being in school has been an improvement for many. 

  Over Microsoft Teams, these connections have been difficult to make, but being in person has helped me connect with my teachers and learn about them as people rather than a history or math teacher. ”

— Junior Conner Parker

   Throughout quarantine, getting any social interaction has been very difficult for everyone, which is why many students decided to go back to in-person. But some students have found it is a bit harder to talk to people, especially for freshmen or people who don’t know many people who returned. While this may be a challenge for some people, it also allows students to become friends with people who they have never met before. Since classes are so much smaller, it allows for good opportunities for students to really connect with each other since there aren’t a lot of other people to talk to. 

   After hearing about returning to school, many may be wondering whether in-person is better than virtual. It seems that for many students and teachers who have returned, they enjoy it much more. In addition to the social aspect, students manage their time better and pay more attention in class when actually being in the classroom. 

   “I prefer in person learning because I get to connect with my teachers at a deeper level in a room with three students rather than 30. Since in-person school has started, I’ve found myself making more conversation with teachers, and it feels like the teachers enjoy talking to students just as much as we enjoy talking to them,” Parker said.