First Impressions

Lauren Meixner, Reporter

The first week of school was a confusing time for all virtual students. Scheduling problems caused a lot of stress, and just figuring out when your classes were was a struggle. While some students were lucky, with little to no conflicts when it came to Zoom times, some were not as fortunate. Many students had two to four classes stacked in the same block or didn’t even have as many classes as they signed up for. over the weekend our perseverant staff has figured out a way for teachers to be both flexible with teaching times and for students to have a more open and less conflicted schedule. Now instead of having the classic block schedule, we have blue and orange days. Teachers are assigned to be either a blue teacher or an orange teacher. There are blue odd and even days, and orange odd and even days. Now, student’s schedules are freed up, with more time to work on asynchronous assignments, and less time spent in a Zoom meeting.

My experience with this whole situation was comparably lucky to other students. I was fortunate enough to have a conflict-free schedule but figuring out that schedule wasn’t easy. It was a constant check between my email, Studentvue, and Canvas. I had to piece together when my teachers were on zoom, but luckily all of my teachers were very organized and sent me an understandable schedule. When something changed, they kept me updated and in the loop. I am very grateful for my teacher’s and counselor’s patience and willingness to help me when I needed it. However, on the other hand, not everyone had a similar experience to me.

Sophomore Keiko Chen describes her experience as stressful and confusing. She had to check her email, StudentVue, and Canvas and had to piece together her schedule. Today, she had to wait two hours to get onto the tech support zoom over a change of teachers. However, even through these struggles, she still has found some positives to the situation. She describes herself as an independent worker, someone who works best when left alone to her own devices. She appreciates that VirtualEd lets her learn this way. She wants to give a shout out to her counselor, Ms. Muniga, for helping her through her schedule. With the new system of blue and orange days, she thinks it’s a step in the right direction, and although it isn’t perfect, it hopefully will help other students.

Sophomore Catheryn Poe, had a very similar experience as Keiko. She says that the night before school, when she had to figure out her schedule, was really stressful on her. And honestly, I feel like that part was truly the most stressful to not just students, but teachers as well. She also feels she is being more productive than usual, as she is not procrastinating and is getting her work done early. “The uncertainty of these times has encouraged me to learn how to use a planner, and that’s something.” When it comes to the new system, she doesn’t like it. “I want Zoom calls every day. It helps me stay motivated enough to get out of bed.” However, she does understand that it will help other students with more conflicts in their schedules.

For me personally, I have found that I am able to complete my school work earlier in the day which frees up time in the evening to do other things. During a traditional school year, I would get home and settled in and then begin homework around 4:30, if I was lucky. Now I find that I am able to complete everything throughout the day and am finished by 4:30. I would say this is a great improvement. Of course, I miss the social aspect of school and look forward to being on campus again. Over the next few weeks, we are going to try to figure out a way to close that gap and maintain a social connection. I will keep you posted on what I find, any technology that can help, resources that are available, and of course more insights from the student body. Jaguars are perseverant, determined, and hopeful.

Let’s give a big thanks to the teachers and other staff members who have stayed patient with all of the students and parents during these last few days. The level of strong communication and willingness to go out of their way to answer emails upon emails, really helps us, students, out. And we know it can’t be easy for our teachers either. It’s not their fault that they can only teach during certain blocks, or can’t offer more classes. However, we appreciate them going out of their way to be as helpful as possible. Without them, students would be more in the dark than we already are. I know we will get through this together. I look forward to learning more about the benefits of virtual learning as we go along and I want to share engaging insights with you over the next few months.

And as Dwight Schrute once said, “I’m ready to face any challenge that might be foolish enough to face me.”

Go Jags!