Morgan’s Back!

The Benefits and Struggles of Being Back in School Full Time


Iris Dunham

Seniors Alex Kelly, Hope Vecca, and Madeline Dunham

After a year full of hard transitions, students are excited to finally be in school with a steady schedule and activities to look forward to. Events like sports games, prom, and graduation have always been a huge part of high school, but when the pandemic hit, it was taken away from students. This year, however, looked a little different. Students were in and out of school, sports were always up in the air and extracurricular activities were nonexistent. For the past few months, Morgan has been starting to ease back into a normal high school year with things like prom and graduation guaranteed for the Seniors.

Freshman, CJ Guiliano, shared how he felt about in-person learning compared to online learning. CJ says “it’s easier because you are learning face to face,” however, “the change feels weird.”

He also discussed how the work has changed since students have been in-person for a longer period of time than the previous year. “When we were online, we were never able to work with someone. Since we are now in school, there are more assignments that allow students to work with others.”

He explained that, “the teachers are more understanding,” and, “they give us more breaks,” which he believes have been very helpful. “They are overall more helpful towards the students and are doing a great job of helping and guiding.”

Sophomore, Aurora Smith explained that she is “glad to be back fully in-person” because she feels “more productive” and it is better for her “mental health”.

Aurora also discussed how students “get more quizzes and tests in-person,” but that “teachers have been more lenient about work being handed in on time.” Although the work has increased since students have been back in school, teachers have been understanding and have given extra time to complete work because they know that the transition can be difficult.

English teacher Brooke Mazzarella explains how she felt about being back at school full time: “In-person learning allows me to connect with my students and really get to know them. It was hard to build a relationship in the beginning of the year when students were hiding behind their screens”.

The in-person connection is extremely valuable because it builds relationships, but it also keeps students motivated. Ms. Mazzarella explains that when she was online, she was “surrounded by distractions” and she acknowledged that “students struggle with distractions at home as well and may not have the discipline to focus strictly on schoolwork”.

She also discussed how she has “seen a vast improvement in work quality, effort, and engagement since returning to in-person learning”.

Ms. Mazzarella helped demonstrate the importance of in-person learning, not only academically but also socially. “I believe the in-person interaction is more authentic and allows me to learn about my students on a different level, such as their interests and hobbies that I can try to incorporate into my lessons”.

Ms. Mazzarella shared that having a few students online each day, while teaching an in-person class can be difficult in a few different ways. “I worry that my remote students miss out on rich discussions, aren’t fully focused, and do not advocate for themselves when they feel behind”.

Overall, students are finally adjusting to in-person learning and are hoping it stays like this. Teachers and students are facing the same challenges while being in school, but also have different adjustments they need to make.

This school year has been full of change and difficulties, but Morgan is ready to take on these last few weeks of school and make them amazing.