COVID-19 teaches valuable lessons


During the advanced chemistry magic show, senior Macie Goodmanson shows an elementary student a science experiment. Even during the chemistry show, students still had to wear masks, and some students and teachers hope that the mask mandate will hopefully be gone next year. Photo by Paige Harrington

COVID-19 affected this school year. It added new guidelines that needed to be followed. All these new rules not only affected the school as a whole but also the activities that occured.

“The school started out the year with a hybrid schedule, and that was just sort of a mess,” math teacher Jonathan Morgan said. “Nobody knew when they were supposed to come to school or what assignments they were supposed to work on.”

The start of the year was different from what most students and teachers were used to. However, over time, the COVID-19 guidelines lessened.

“Obviously, the face masks were a big change having to wear those every day,” Morgan said, “but once we got back in person, most of the year went relatively close to normal.” 

Eventually, most teachers were able to go back to teaching as they normally would, but there were still some challenges when it came to teaching online.

“Teaching was hard because it was difficult to understand how to teach all levels of kids using technology,” P.E. teacher Dawson Elliott said. “It was made a bit easier using different apps like EdPuzzle or Flipgrid to teach your lessons rather than lecture-based because it’s really hard to give a lecture over a PowerPoint on Zoom.”

Some teachers had very little trouble teaching online. 

“Because of COVID, I had to do a lot less of handing out papers, which I never really was very paper-oriented anyway,” business teacher Kellee Roberts said. “Basically, for me, I just made sure for a  lot of my lessons I had screen recordings of them so that kids that missed class would still have a way to be taught by me.”

While some teachers learned new technology that could help them, others didn’t.

“I didn’t really learn any new technologies because my classroom is already so technology-oriented anyway,” Roberts said. “I guess just integrating Zoom into daily life like that was probably the only thing that I had to do that was different.”

Some teachers had to work around the new regulations, but none of them exactly had a roadblock that stopped them. However, teaching was not the only activity that COVID-19 regulations affected.

“In scholars bowls, we were really limited on what we could do,” Morgan said, “We couldn’t do in-person meets for most of the year,” 

COVID-19 guidelines heavily blocked some activities such as scholars bowl, which started at the beginning of the year. They had to find inventive ways to get around the roadblock, and technology helped.

“We had to do these online meets, where they were over Zoom, and we had a buzzer system,” Morgan said. “We used an app on the phone where you could buzz in and answer the questions. Now, it worked okay, and I’m glad we got to have the competitions, but everyone likes them in person.”

Being able to find a workaround to a difficult task not only allowed the school and extracurricular activities to still be able to run, but it also allowed them to learn new technologies they could continue to use to help them.

“I learned how to use other technologies,” Morgan said. “I’m not a technology-heavy person, but I’ve been able to incorporate new technology and learn new technologies. It was helpful when students were gone they could Zoom in. There are helpful tools that we could use in the future if the need arises, but I wouldn’t want to do it on a regular basis.”