During the Covid-19 pandemic our circumstances with school were constantly changing. Our routines, work, education, and even housing changed drastically in the span of 2 years. It was a different experience for everyone, but the one thing that every student had in common was the way our education has changed.
We spoke with students from each grade
While online schooling did have its perks, it was not ideal for many high school students as technology could sometimes be a distraction rather than a tool in our learning. But with society slowly creeping back to normal we were able to return, and with our team here at Nantyr, we decided to reach out to a few students to see how they had been feeling with the new transition back to school for the 2021-2022 school year.
Grade 12 students have experienced almost every aspect of how the pandemic has affected our school and education. Having experienced almost a year and a half of Highschool before the pandemic hit, they are aware of what our old ‘normal’ used to be. Having switched methods of classes before they all preferred the 4 classes a day routine, saying that it works well for them more then the other class routines we had, like 1 or 2 classes for a whole day.
With a switch to more classes a day we wondered if the course load would be overwhelming or too much in comparison, but instead it seemed to be a good amount of work, though that may change the farther into the semester we go. When asked how they felt in regards to returning to in person classes, one student answered that during online they had “No motivation to get up and do the classes online cause your bed is right there, whereas with going to school, it pushes you to get up and go to school and then your like I'm already here- I might as well do the work.”
Other students interviewed agreed that the change to in person learning was better for them. We asked them if they have made more connections and friendships because of online and in-person school/class changes, to which they replied that it was so much easier to talk to people now that they were in person, and talking to teachers was easier as well.
We then asked how the switch between class routines and from online to in person learning, once again, has impacted their mental health. All three students seemed to agree that it was a positive change, giving them a consistent routine to work with, feeling like less work is given and therefore less pressure, as well as not feeling like they were just waiting around as everything now felt faster.
Our final question for them was what they were looking forward to this semester and rest of the year. Two students emphasized their excitement for events that Nantyr would usually have, hoping that they can start up again soon.
Grade eleven students have rarely experienced in person high school since the pandemic started. All the students we interviewed agreed that in class learning was better for them, and that the four periods rather than two was better because it gave them more time to complete their work efficiently. Their overall satisfaction was high with the whole returning to in-person learning, and needless to say they love everything about it! All of the grade eleven students that we interviewed are excited for what the rest of the year will bring to them after the long wait.
As with the previous grades, we interviewed three grade 10s about their experience at Nantyr and how the pandemic has affected their time in high school. We asked them what they think about switching our class routine from two classes a day to four classes a day.
Their response was positive, noting how “two and a half hours is hard to sit and listen for that long” and that they liked being put into a schedule. The course load, in their opinion, was “okay right now” and that they liked the course load and currently found it manageable, though that may change since they hadn't done much yet and didn't have the full experience as they are just starting.
They found that they preferred in person learning more than online learning, liking it better. The students also found themselves having an easier time making more friends and more ease in communicating with teachers. The reason they thought this was may have been because they were seeing four groups of people instead of just two.
All three students agreed that the switch to 4 classes a day has positively impacted their mental health, giving them a consistent schedule to follow. When asked what they were looking forward to at the end of the year they were unsure, giving a small answer of “school being ‘normal’ again”.
Grade 9s only recently joined Nantyr, and have not had the experience of previous versions of class routines and the bouts of online school at Nantyr. We talked to five grade 9s about if they preferred four classes over two classes a day, all having a unanimous agreement that the four classes was better for them.
The only downside they found was that it was a bit more rushed, but overall not too bad. They had very positive responses, showing excitement through having met new people and made new friends during the new school year, yet commented on it also being nerve racking as there were “new people everywhere”.
When asked how the switch between in person and online, both in Nantyr and their previous school, had affected their mental health they had mixed responses. For one of the students it negatively impacted them, having to switch from online into in-person classes multiple times then having switched the class routine as well, while the others found that it positively affected their mental health, taking the few weeks of online learning as a break and being more relaxed.
All the grade 9s we interviewed looked forward to the activities Nantyr brings, even if they didn’t occur this year, in their future at Nantyr.
Even with the many ups and downs of the Covid-19 Pandemic, students have persevered through it all. Through online learning, new in person learning, school changes, class routine switches, we have experienced it all.
Nantyr digital media team (Anjeli + Kira + Gianluca)