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  • Writer's pictureThis Is Rutherford

Learning During a Pandemic: Part One

Updated: Feb 21, 2021

By Jennifer Ersalesi

Since last March 2020, students in the Rutherford School District have learned what the words remote, hybrid, virtual, and cohort mean. With COVID-19 restrictions in place, students must be socially-distanced and wear masks in school and adapt to learning from their computers at home and in school. Over the last few weeks, This is Rutherford published articles that highlighted how teachers have learned to teach through a pandemic. For the next few weeks, This is Rutherford will publish interviews with students in grades Kindergarten through High School to discover how they feel about learning during a pandemic.

The following students were asked the same question about their school experiences this past year: Jackson Genovesi (Kindergarten), Julia Bogosian (First grade), Caleb Pippin (Second grade), Michael Giacalone (Third grade), Madison Leigh (Fourth grade), Logan Staselis (Fifth grade), Tom Dimitroff (Sixth grade), Ava Hernandez (Seventh grade), Caiden Cole (Eighth grade), McKenzie Lancaster (Ninth grade), Cailyn Jordan (Tenth grade), Chris Nicolas (Eleventh grade), and Emma Lagasse (Twelfth grade).

TIR: What has been the hardest part of not being able to go to school the way you are used to (without masks, social distancing, remote learning, etc.)?

Jackson Genovesi: Not being able to see my friends in person and only on zoom.

Caleb Pippin: It takes forever and I'm bored.

Julia Bogosian: Having to do Zooms sometimes. If we have assignments to do it's hard to do them because they're on the computer.

Michael Giacalone: I don't like wearing masks. I miss snack time. I really miss morning meetings at Washington School when I could see all of my friends.

Madison Leigh: I miss in-person learning the most. I really enjoyed using our SMARTboard in class for lessons and it’s not the same on Zoom but our teachers are doing a great job.

Logan Staselis: The hardest part about not going to school is the internet is not always working correctly. Also, the shorter classes make it harder to get the work done in time which is a little stressful. Most of all I miss seeing my friends.

Tom Dimitroff: The hardest part has been managing my time on each subject and keeping track of zoom meetings and links. I miss sitting with other kids in the classroom working on things together. I miss recess, gym, and being together with other kids at school.

Ava Hernandez: The hardest part of not going to school the way I used to is the struggle with focusing. I have a harder time focusing at home when there are a lot more distractions like my dog or my brother. I feel like it's just easier to go to school where I'm in an environment where teachers can help me stay focused because I'm in an environment where I'm supposed to be learning not playing with my dog or something like that. I also miss seeing my friends every day. Now I just don't see them as much and when we do, we have to social distance.

Caiden Cole: The hardest part of not being able to go to school like I did before pandemic times is having to go to school online. If I'm trying to complete an assignment and I'm not on zoom or in class, it's harder to ask a question because the teacher isn't there to help. I have to email the teacher and wait for a response instead of an immediate answer like when I'm in person.

McKenzie Lancaster: I think that the hardest part of not being able to go to school the way I am used to is that I find it much harder to participate and interact with the class. When we are in school, it is much easier to engage in class discussions, and that makes it easier to remember the information.

Cailyn Jordan: I believe having full focus on what I’m doing is more difficult. Also, zoom meetings are getting old and I lose focus quickly with them.

Christopher Nicolas: The hardest part of not being able to go to school the way that I was used to going is not being able to socialize as much with my friends or teachers.

Emma Lagasse: The hardest part of not being able to go to school like normal is not being able to feel motivated to complete long assignments or feel as though I can socialize with my peers. One of the most important parts of school is being able to socialize with others and with the cohorts and distancing it feels like many connections have been lost. Even connecting with our teachers feels difficult to do on the computer and even when we are in person.

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