One marking period into the year: big adjustments for some students

A+normal+English+class+during+the+masked+school+year

Emily Dahms

A normal English class during the masked school year

English class in bed, Pre-Calc test in your pajamas, or school lunch in your own kitchen sounds like a dream come true until it was reality. For most of the year that is how students received their education. However this year we are back to what “normal” used to look like.

This transition was big for a lot of students. From doing the bare minimum to being back fully in person it may have been a lot to adjust to. However, students have been able to make that change pretty well. Junior Sydni Schorn was virtual for the beginning of the year but switched to hybrid when it was available and then fully in-person.

“I was obviously more used to being in-person, so it was easier adjusting this year going back full in-person than being virtual,” Schorn stated.

Although teachers have a different perspective on the way that students have been adapting to how student life used to be, Honors English and Women’s Voices teacher, Ms. Carrie Dixon, agrees that we have adjusted.

“I think we are no longer relying on secondary sources and googling answers. I think kids are reading the text and their answers on quizzes show whether they are reading it or not. Whereas last year I feel like everyone got one-hundred percent because you could just look up the answers. I feel like scores are a little more indicative of ability this semester,” Dixon explained.

Being back to in-person learning brings back the normal tests and quizzes that didn’t happen as often. If students did have tests or quizzes last year it wasn’t uncommon for them to use resources that they wouldn’t have had access to in a normal school setting. With that being said, it may have been harder for students when taking exams this year. However, it forces students to start studying like normal.

“I am taking this year more seriously now that we are in-person fully. So I’m studying more for tests and am completing my homework. I tried to take as many in-person quizzes as I could last year to prepare myself for in person this year because I knew junior year would be hard. Now that we are pretty much normal I would say I’ve adjusted to them now and score the same as I would any other normal year,” Schorn said.

Teachers are also aware of the change for students in test-taking.

“Looking at my grades, I have all honors classes, so I think my grades are pretty high. I also don’t think I made the hardest quizzes starting off for the first marking period. So I did some “easy A assignments,” I feel like I probably went a little slower and a little easier than I have in normal years. But the bulk, the content, the essays, I think that they’re okay. We just have to build on some skills,” Dixon said.

Because this year is so different, is it important to make sure students are trying to help themselves with knowing how to keep adjusting and maintain their routine as a student.

“I’m meeting after school with some of my teachers. I talk to teachers if I have questions and it’s easier to do that in person or get help from them after class or after school,” Schorn stated.

Teachers are actively trying to help students and accommodate them to help them get out of their habits from being at home.

“I think I am doing a combination of hand-written assignments and Canvas assignments because everyone is used to Canvas from last year. So to get rid of it entirely is a huge adjustment. But then the vocab quizzes where everybody has to memorize, I do those on paper. I think the scores are pretty decent on paper because people are able to cross things off and handwrite them. I do make up quizzes on canvas and those scores are typically ten percent lower than the in-person hand written quizzes,” Dixon elaborated.

It can be hard to try not to fall back into the patterns students had last school year so it is essential to make sure they are avoiding the things that might put them back at that place.

Now that more things are on paper in person, I am actually doing my work rather than just staring at a computer screen. I am also trying to manage time better”

— Junior Sydni Schorn

“I am trying my best not to procrastinate. I had no motivation to do things on the computer last year. Now that more things are on paper in person, I am actually doing my work rather than just staring at a computer screen. I am also trying to manage time better,” Schorn said.

Like students, teachers are also avoiding things to help with breaking out old habits.

“I think I am avoiding the “take home” quizzes on Canvas, where people don’t have to read the story. They can just look up the answers. I’m not doing much in terms of writing for homework assignments, most of my homework is reading….Then they have to come in the next day ready to present. Whereas in the past I probably would have given questions as well for homework. Then they would hand in homework and still take the quiz. I think I’ve gotten rid of the homework part just to hold kids more accountable in the classroom,” Dixon explained.

This year is going to be a more difficult school year for kids that relied heavily on being at home and virtual. However, as long as everyone is continuously trying to break out of their habits and adjust to being back in-person it’s going to be a successful year.