New Academic Challenges

Courtney Blom, Staff Writer

March 13th was the last day that the Mepham Pirates were all in one school building together. After that day, the government issued a quarantine based on the spreading coronavirus pandemic. Besides the obvious health concerns, other matters changed the lives of all the students and faculty at Mepham High School. Bedrooms and living rooms have become schools as students have had to adapt to remote learning and adjust to this sudden change in their lives. 

Many students do feel tired of school day after day, especially this close to the end of the year, but homeschooling has made students have a whole new perspective on attending actual school. As in a regular school environment, students have to take their regular classes five days a week from home, with class participation and completion of assignments being considered attendance each week. Although students can sleep later and have more flexible times when work is due, if not completed, work can continue to pile up. Also, students have to teach themselves certain topics when not on Zooms with teachers, and have to do more work independently. 

A sophomore this year at Mepham, Kate McNerney, explained her feelings about a homeschool environment, “I think that homeschooling has made me appreciate going to school everyday, when some days I didn’t want to wake up early and go.” 

Even though the early hours for class time at Mepham are hard, I’m sure that many students at Mepham are finding a new appreciation for waking up and going to school everyday. Just the feeling of being productive is missed by many. Also, besides just the homeschooling aspect itself, students have probably also felt lonely without friends. The quarantine has left students to just be around their families at home each day, so it has taken its toll on all of us. Before quarantine began, students would see their friends everyday in school, so it is a big transition going from seeing your peers everyday, to only your family. Everyone wants to see their friends again, but staying 6 feet apart at all times is also a difficult task to adjust to. 

With students constantly using online resources to do assignments and going on Zoom calls, technology has become a significant part of every student’s daily life. 

Another sophomore at Mepham, Victoria Gibney, said, “Online school has made me realize how much I’m on technology. It also made me appreciate how much teachers do for their students.” 

The majority of  school has been online, so students had to get adjusted to this new way of learning quickly. Teachers have also played a significant role in this new homeschooling environment. Teachers have used Zoom, Google Classroom, Remind, and other resources to communicate with their students and give them assignments to do. The homeschooling system wouldn’t be possible without help from teachers to advise students through these hard times. However  although the world is in uncertain times with the coronavirus spreading rapidly, it is important for everyone at Mepham to remain hopeful. If everyone continues to quarantine themselves and see their friends being 6 feet apart, then hopefully everything can return back to normal soon. Staying home continues to save lives, and can hopefully salvage the next school year at Mepham High School.