Written by: Julie
Edited by: Chris
Visual by: Tatiana
Starting the school year online does feel strange, even though we are practically Zoom veterans, having spent over one year in distance learning. Since March 2020, ISM has transitioned to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While many are already well-adjusted to online school, or perhaps even welcoming of it, the experience is still quite different to physical school. Thus, it is important to create goals and plans in order to make the best of it.
From communicating and collaborating with our friends and classmates to the general learning environment in our Zoom classrooms, online learning poses many challenges. Not only are we more prone to procrastination, it is also much more difficult to stay focused during class time. For those in the Philippines, the new ECQ regulation also prevents students from going out, which has hindered many of our plans, including meeting with our friends and families. Despite all this, many students maintain their goals and aspirations for this school year, taking the current situation into consideration and using it to inform their decisions.
A sophomore from ISM remarked, “I hope to make new and long lasting friendships that live up to their full potential. I also hope to make a good first impression on my teachers and peers. Finally, I hope to achieve grades that are satisfactory to me.” The student also expounded upon how COVID-19 had significantly impacted their social life: “A lot of my friend groups also changed, and while I did become closer with other people, I also became more distanced towards those I considered to be among my closest friends.” A junior said that their “goal for this school year is to become more self-aware and take extra care of mental and physical health.” The student added that they had to take greater initiative, as they could no longer simply partake in physical activities offered by the school, but had to manage their time and push themselves to follow through with their chosen exercise regiment.
Of course, teachers face various different challenges as well. When asked, one teacher said that they “plan to create a much better learning environment for students and plan better activities so that [the students] can stay on task.” They commented how much it would help if the students kept “their cameras on” and became less “afraid to ask questions.”
With the seniors embarking on their final stretch of high school, juniors beginning their IB course, sophomores in their second year of high school online, and freshmen starting their new journey, this year will be pivotal to all students. Here at Bamboo Telegraph, we hope this year will be the best one yet! Let’s go Bearcats!
High Focus Centers. “Online Learning & Teen Mental Health.” High Focus Centers, 1 Dec. 2020, highfocuscenters.pyramidhealthcarepa.com/the-effects-of-online-learning-on-a-teens-mental-health/.