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  • Writer's pictureThis Is Rutherford

Learning During a Pandemic: Part Two

By Jennifer Ersalesi

Since last March 2020, students in the Rutherford School District have learned what the words remote, hybrid, and cohort mean. With COVID-19 restrictions in place throughout the state, students are socially-distanced, must wear masks, and/or learning from their computers at home. 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 learn more about learning through a pandemic.

The following students were asked the same questions 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 is something one (or more) or your teachers have done to help you through this difficult time?

Jackson Genovesi: Ms. Ruglio tells me to try my best in school and on virtual.

Caleb Pippin: My teachers do zoom meetings so all the kids could meet each other.

Julia Bogosian: We do Go Noodle and dance breaks.

Michael Giacalone: Ms. Rylick gives us lots of breaks and we get extra recess this year, lunch recess, and class recess.

Madison Leigh: My teachers, Mrs. Macri, Ms. Engels, and Ms. Lyon help us get through this difficult time by using Zoom to help us learn as well as record lessons that we can watch on our own through EdPuzzle. They make our virtual lessons easy to understand by using these programs. They also are very patient and understanding when we need help and I really enjoy being in their classes.

Logan Staselis: One of my teachers does a separate Zoom call for the students who need some extra help which is very helpful.

Tom Dimitroff: My teachers have put all of their resources on one website for reference so we can go there if we have any questions. They have as many zooms as possible so they can explain directions for assignments to us. My teacher from last year knew I was having a hard time so she made time to talk to me about how I was feeling and gave me advice and suggestions on how to manage my schoolwork.

Ava Hernandez: My teachers have helped me and my class by understanding that it's hard for students to focus and they are a little looser with due dates so let's say I forgot to turn in an assignment they're going to let us make it up so they're pretty good and being fair with due dates and reminders when we need to turn something in. They are also modifying work to the half days when school closes so we don't have a crazy amount of work.

Caiden Cole: I feel that the teachers have been very understanding if I or someone in my class forgets to turn in an assignment or misses work. They understand that online learning has been difficult and new for us. They don't want to make it too hard on us and to stress us out by being strict when we're learning online. All of my teachers are available on zoom during office hours whenever I have a question.

McKenzie Lancaster: My teachers have worked hard to make school fun, which helps a lot. For example, in some classes, we have pet show-and-tell, where the whole class shows off their pets. It doesn’t take long, but it makes us smile.

Cailyn Jordan: My history teacher gives a longer time for due dates. My science teacher gives us enough work to educate us, and enough work that we can finish within the period.

Christopher Nicholas: My teachers have helped me during this time by doing after-school help on zoom. They were always available when I needed them. They had to change the way they taught, but they did an amazing job.

Emma Lagasse: I would say the one thing that teachers have done for us is trying to be accommodating about homework. After sitting in front of the computer for hours not having to stress more and do homework for hours is one way for the students to relax. Another thing I believe has also been very helpful is the half-day schedule. During these hard times, it is immensely difficult to stay motivated and have the willingness to complete school assignments. Having half days is one thing we seniors can enjoy. Being able to have the rest of the day to ourselves has been a very small consolation given we are not able to have most if not any of your senior year activities.

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