Stargazer

Staff Editorial: Reflecting on the School Year–The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Students%2C+spaced+3+feet+apart%2C+work+on+their+Chromebooks

Addie Grimm

Students, spaced 3 feet apart, work on their Chromebooks

It would be an understatement to say the 2020-2021 school year was hard. Challenging. Stressful. Exhausting. Pull any negative adjective out of a hat, and it will probably apply.

We bounced from one schedule to the next. We altered our daily lifestyles to the point that they would be unrecognizable to our past selves.

Students adapted to a new way of learning while our teachers adapted to a new way of teaching.

All of these combined hurdles caused cracks to form in our education and overall school experience for this year.

Due to the hybrid nature of school, some teachers are giving open-note assessments now because of concern that at-home students have access to that information anyway, so they want to give the in-person students the same advantage.

This change has caused us to forget what it is like to study for huge exams and finals, a huge detriment to college-bound seniors especially. We understand that it is not the teachers’ fault, just a byproduct of this crazy school year, but we are still worried about our future.

The lack of studying and the removal of some field trips and projects prompt us to wonder if we will retain the information we learned this year.

In classes where the skills pile on top of each other–such as math–we think the knowledge won’t be remembered next year, resulting in our future teachers having to essentially teach us two years worth of material in one year. COVID-19 has taken a lot from us, and we aren’t sure how big of an impact this will have in the coming years.

And on top of our academic adversities, we faced social ones.

There were barriers in who we could talk to, all of which were built due to the pandemic.

A lot of in-class conversation and banter was lost because we couldn’t sit in the once-adored table groups anymore. Most North Stars will tell you how quiet the classrooms have been this year. We know we have missed the chatter and buzz of a classroom and are guessing a lot of our fellow students and staff have missed that too.

Plus, because we were online at the beginning of the year, we could not as easily form close relationships with our classmates and even teachers. The first few months of school is a crucial period for bonding, and we missed out.

In the Stargazer’s second staff editorial about our thoughts towards the School Board’s talks of returning to school, we explain our doubts about students correctly wearing masks and social distancing during school.

While originally students were really good about wearing their masks, over the last few weeks as more and more students have returned to in-person learning, we have noticed an influx of students wearing their masks incorrectly, the most common way being below the nose. Sometimes, it gets so low that it dips to below the top lip, and others, for seemingly no reason, just take them off altogether.

While most teachers remind and urge the student to put it back on, there are those who don’t. This negligence caused unnecessary stress to our already stressful lives.

Nevertheless, North Stars pushed through. We persevered. Overcame. Adjusted. Pull any positive verb out of a hat, and it will probably apply.

The block schedule gave us a test run for college. There, classes aren’t every day. Students are given more time to complete their work. It allowed us to be more independent and practice our time management skills.

The social barriers ensured that the interactions we did have were savored. Especially when we were on a hybrid schedule where students were only in the building two or three times a week, we knew that the interactions were few and far between. Thus, those moments when we could joke with a classmate or chat with a teacher face-to-face became more meaningful.

The pandemic proved to us that we are more capable than we may have once believed. Everyone showed immense grit and resilience. We learned how to adapt to any situation thrown at us in a timely and graceful manner.

The past year’s good, bad and ugly transformed us on every level possible.

There were some mishandled and ignored aspects and possible ramifications we have yet to encounter.

It tested us over and over again, but we made it.

The purpose of the staff editorial is to start a conversation. The editorial topic and stance are discussed and agreed on by all members of the editorial board. While only one editor writes the article and the editorial may not represent each editor’s opinion 100%, it does represent an editorial consensus. Again, the purpose is discussion. Let us know what you think through Twitter @SCNNewspaper and email at [email protected]

 

About the Photographer
Photo of Addie Grimm
Addie Grimm, News Editor

Addie is the news editor for the Stargazer. She is a junior at North and has been on the staff since her freshman year. Addie engages in student journalism...

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Staff Editorial: Reflecting on the School Year–The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly