Freshmen learn in person and in virtual learning spaces

Freshmen+lounge+in+the+Atrium+as+they+Zoom+into+class.

Colin Strauss

Freshmen lounge in the Atrium as they Zoom into class.

Colin Strauss, Staff Writer

This year at Benilde-St. Margaret’s has been anything but normal for everyone at the school. Most sophomores, juniors, and seniors are doing hybrid learning, going back and forth between home and school in two cohorts. But freshmen are doing something completely different.

Unlike the other grades, the whole freshmen class can be at school, but not everybody is in the classroom. Part of each class attends in person, while the others “zoom” into class from their various “virtual learning spaces” spread out around the school.

Overall, freshmen have said positive things about the virtual learning space. “It’s going very well. It’s very similar to regular school, just things are a lot more split,” freshman Miles Del Ghingaro said.

For teachers though, there are some difficulties, like having to pay attention to their computer screen during class, much more often. “It is a lot of things to juggle at once! I compare it to having 20 Internet tabs open and needing to be on them all at the same time, that is what my brain feels like a lot of the day,” science teacher Ms. Stephanie Lauer said in an email interview.

It is a lot of things to juggle at once!”

— Ms. Stephanie Lauer

With that teachers also have to find new ways to teach their class. “Because I teach ninth graders often I have some sort of thing we do all together and then we have a discussion or conversation. Students on Zoom always have the opportunity to email/use the chat to convey their thoughts. I often have to repeat what students in the classroom say so that those on Zoom can hear it,” theology teacher Ms. Becca Meagher said in an email interview.

Although things are different, it is a relief for students and teachers alike, just to be back in the classroom. “It is nice to see the majority of my students every day in person and get to know them,” Lauer said.