MHS Freshmen Start Their High School Careers Virtually
The pressures of starting high school are no joke. New school, more homework, finding personal interests, building a resume, balancing school life and fun life…the list is never-ending. However, the class of 2024 is in a whole new ball game: tackling the start of their high school careers virtually. This transition poses new challenges, but the freshmen seem to be handling it like champs. “It’s not nearly as bad as I originally anticipated,” expresses freshman Allie Caesar.
Due to the pandemic, Spring Branch Independent School District has required distance learning for the first two weeks of school. After those two weeks, parents and students are allowed to choose whether they would like to continue the year in-person or online. Then, those choosing virtual learning have the option to transfer in-person at the end of the nine-weeks marking period.
SBISD students have been using an online platform called ItsLearning where teachers are able to post assignments, as well as Zoom to engage in a synchronous educational environment. The “Breakout Room” feature on Zoom has also proved beneficial. It allows teachers to virtually move students into individual groups to work on various projects and assignments.
This new way of virtual learning has posed its own challenges. Yes, we’ve all been there. That moment when your audio goes whack as soon as the teacher calls on you or when you think you are muted but the whole class hears your siblings cracking jokes in the background. But for the most part, these experiences have been fun memories that students and teachers can laugh at. Memorial freshman, Callie Gormley, states, “It’s harder online in the sense that you don’t have the teachers in the same space to directly help you but the work has been pretty easy so far and the teachers have been doing a great job.”
As we enter month six of social distancing, many freshmen have explained how they have missed interaction between their friends at school. “I don’t feel very connected to the other students…” Allie says. Obviously, with high school comes football games, homecoming, pep rallies, and many different club events. However, due to the pandemic many of these things are up in the air. Freshman Audrey Hwang adds, “Though it is harder to interact, it is nice to be home sometimes.” After all, you can wear pajama pants all day and no one will know.
All in all, the freshmen have been adapting very well to online learning and many are looking forward to attending in-person school in the days to come.
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