Looking Back, Through the Eyes of a Student: "Transitioning to Online School"
Gabriella Gildea ‘21
For over two months, our lives and routines have been drastically changed due to the coronavirus pandemic, especially for students. As a junior at Archmere, I now attend all of my classes on Zoom instead of going to school. It was very difficult to go from seeing my classmates and teachers every day at Archmere to communicating solely through a screen. There are no science labs, lunches in the SLC, or white day assemblies in the theater. Instead, we now have class trivia night on Zoom and virtual presentations from student council candidates.
My teachers have worked hard to transfer all of our material to an online format. For my art class, instead of having in-person artwork critiques, my classmates and I upload our pieces of art to a collaborative Google Slides document, created by my teacher Ms. Palmer, where we can share our ideas and comment with constructive criticism. In my english class, Mr. Klinge uses Zoom to split us up into “breakout rooms” where we are paired with another student to analyze passages and discuss the material. To really show how thoughtful and hard working my teachers have been during this challenging time, My AP European History teacher Ms. Witte took the extra time and effort to print and compile numerous paper review packets for our class and mail them to our houses. She even included a card with an inspirational quote to motivate us.
Because of this pandemic, AP exams were administered online this year for the first time ever. I took three AP exams - Chemistry, European History and English Language. The format of these tests was cut short to 45 minutes rather than two or three hours, which was difficult to prepare for but decreased some stress. I believe that my teachers did an excellent job responding to this challenge and preparing me to succeed on my tests by providing me with plenty of practice and demo tests online.
Although these changes have been hard to adjust to, I have been presented with new opportunities to adapt and try new things. I have become more tech-savvy while adjusting to online school, and I am able to spend more time with my family and going outside when the weather is nice. Instead of rushing through the day and always being busy with school and activities, this new stillness has taught me to appreciate the fun times together and the hugs with family and friends that I took for granted.
As this school year comes to a close, I am grateful for how my teachers were able to transition all of our classes online smoothly. Even though events that I was looking forward to have been postponed, such as the Junior Prom and Junior Ring Mass, I know Archmere will work its hardest to set up the events we have missed and reopen school when things are safe.