How Do Students Feel About The First Marking Period?


By Sophia Kim, Staff Writer

After first-quarter grades were finalized on Wednesday, November 19, the first official marking period of the 2020-2021 school year has ended, and it is time for some reflection. To learn how students have adjusted to this new learning environment, we asked students from various grades about their thoughts and experiences with the hybrid/virtual school schedule.

“It was definitely different,” says Irene Hwang, a sophomore and all-virtual student at Wayne Hills. “It was something new to adjust to and the scheduling was really different. What I like about online school is that I get to stay home and stay safe from COVID, especially in these circumstances. I especially liked Wellness Wednesdays because [school] started later, so I’m upset that they’re getting rid of it now.”

As expected, there have also been issues with online learning. Hwang expresses the most common issue, which is that “it was harder to contact teachers and get help from them.”

“I feel like it was definitely a strange adjustment,” answers Jessie Lu, a Wayne Hills senior. She has chosen to go hybrid this year to get a better learning experience than all-virtual.

However, even going to school as a hybrid student isn’t as effective as the typical learning experience.

“School just isn’t really the same when your classmates aren’t all in class with you and everyone is separated,” Lu said.

Lu intends to go into the STEM field and adds that her favorite science classes have been disappointing this year.

“My favorite parts of classes are the interactive parts, like labs or group work, so it’s been a bit disappointing to have to give up that aspect of our typical educations,” Lu sighs. “That being said, I personally think the teachers made the adjustment easier by altering their lesson plans and coursework to make our virtual learning go more smoothly during these difficult times.”

Classes that would normally be very difficult have been made less challenging, which can be especially frustrating for students who like to test their intellectual abilities.

An all-virtual sophomore, Daphne Saatcioglu, compares her first marking period to when she was a freshman, last year.

“In freshman year, there were more funny conversations with classmates and teachers. That doesn’t happen as much anymore with the teachers. Sure, you can still text with your friends, but it’s different than having that learning experience in-person.”

Online learning has been tough for her, she admits, and she has some tips to share on how to get the best out of it.

“I suggest getting as much done as early as possible because if you’re like me and you procrastinate, you’re gonna be screwed. But if you do things early, the week tends to be okay and way easier.”

Another large issue with online learning appears to be motivation. Saatcioglu states, “Getting yourself to actually try and finish early is very difficult.”

Overall, it seems that the online learning experience lacks in the important human interactions and challenges that students need to feel engaged. Hopefully, students appear to be adjusting well, and online learning does have its perks, such as being able to sleep in a little.