The Orbit: Students Reflect on Return to Full-Capacity, In-Person Learning

The following article is from the RMHS school newspaper “The Orbit”

Relationships, Will to Learn Are Stronger

Olivia Chamberlain (’22), Orbit Contributor

About a month into the 2021 school year, RMHS students reflected on the past year and a half of COVID-disrupted learning and explained what parts of the learning models used over the last eighteen months helped them learn best.

Beginning in March 2020, students in Reading and across the world were thrown into a learning environment unlike anything they had ever seen before. For about a year they dealt with complete virtual learning utilizing online technologies such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Classroom to try to bring learning to their living rooms. Following that, a few months of hybrid, socially distant learning with longer and fewer lessons per day was implemented. September of this year was the first time students had normal school, with the exception of masks, in nearly 18 months.

Having had a month to fall back into the routine of normal, in-person school, many students were reminded of the relationships they had missed with teachers last year. “That connection you make with your teacher is crucial to understanding the material. Being comfortable to go ask them questions and the relationships you form with them will drive your learning that school year. So I think online school was hard because we only got to meet our teachers at the beginning of school for like–what? –10 minutes each? And you can’t form a connection in 10 minutes,” Senior Madaket Rzepka explained.  “Like this year I have Mr. Skehan for two blocks and on some days it’s like 2 blocks in a row, so Mr. Skehan and I already have more of a relationship than I had with some of my teachers halfway through the year last year.” [Read More]

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