Students and teachers return from online school

Matt+Wion+teaches+his+1st+period+government+and+economics+class.++Wion+has+returned+to+the+building+this+year+after+being+an+online+academy+teacher+last+year.

Kamryn Drake

Matt Wion teaches his 1st period government and economics class. Wion has returned to the building this year after being an online academy teacher last year.

Olivia O'Rourke, Staff Writer

After opting to spend the 2020-2021 school year on the online academy, many Hayes students and teachers are adjusting to being back in person full time.
Students who participated in the online academy have mixed feelings about last school year.
“There were good parts and bad parts,” sophomore Josie Morrow said.
A number of teachers worked exclusively with online academy students and would hold online meetings. Students completed their work through Canvas, as well as Edmentum, which is an online learning program. This was an adjustment for many students.
“It was weird, but I also kind of liked being able to go at my own pace,” junior Ava Nugent said.
The students were not alone in this respect, and last year was different for teachers too.
“The online teaching is vastly different than a regular teaching experience just because I didn’t get to see my students every single day, but I did enjoy it,” social studies teacher Matt Wion said.
The most popular opinion from online students about last school year is that the online learning environment was difficult to thrive in. Some students had trouble focusing, while others feel that they didn’t retain any information.
“I didn’t have a lot of accountability, so I turned in a lot of things late, and the learning process was harder, so I couldn’t learn things as easily,” Nugent said.
Many other students relate to Nugent’s sentiment.
“I loved not having as much work, but also I don’t think I learned anything,” Morrow said.
Fortunately, both students and teachers were able to find some joy in the online learning experience.
“I had like half the homework that I currently have, and I got to sleep in,” Morrow said.
For teachers, the online academy provided opportunities that aren’t available during a regular school year.
“I did a lot of one-on-one meetings with students, which I thought was very beneficial and fun to be able to connect with them on that level,” Wion said.
For students transferring back to an in-person school year, the adjustment hasn’t been quite what they expected.
“I thought it was going to be a bigger deal but it’s really just like I skipped the year and now I’m back,” Nugent said. “Like life paused and I’m just back where I left off.”
For teachers, the experience hasn’t been too drastic either.
“I wasn’t here [a single time] last year, so it was definitely an adjustment to get back into my groove of ‘this is how we do things, this is what we’re doing,’” Wion said. “But after that first day, it was like riding a bike. I was right back to it.”
For sophomores, coming back in person was a bigger transition, as this year is their first in person high school experience.
“I think I was well prepared because I had friends who are juniors who were here last year, so they showed me around,” Morrow said.
Though most online academy participants were able to find certain benefits in online learning, both students and teachers throughout the school seem thankful to be back in the building after a chaotic year.
“The one thing I missed was being able to laugh and joke and see people,” Wion said. “I’m very happy to be back.”