Freshman year is the first of four very vital years in a person’s life. For most Teague students, the first day of school was on campus, and they walked through the doors of the high school with their peers. But what about those who started school remotely, and have yet to walk through the hallways of Teague high school?
Distance learner Aly Arrezola is one of those students.
It was a family decision for her to learn from home this year. She reports some struggles at first but is adjusting as time goes by. She believes that there are few key differences between remote instruction and in-person learning. The only thing that has changed is obviously the fact that she can’t interact with her instructors and classmates in the same way.
When doing her work during the day, she tries to keep up with her assignments, and she goes ahead and finishes some ahead of time so she can have a little free time.
Unlike the students at school, she must email questions that she has, and wait to get a response. There are times when the teachers respond quickly, but there are times when it takes a while.
“I understand that the teachers have a lot going on having to deal with the students who are in person, and the students who are doing remote learning,” she says.
As far as the time she has to talk to others, it has been limited. She hasn’t been able to communicate with her friends as much, but overall she says she “doesn’t really get to socialize as much anymore.”
She’s not having much trouble keeping up with her assignments. The only thing she has been struggling with is the fact that some assignments don’t have hard-and-fast due dates, so she doesn’t know how to manage her time well when it comes to those assignments.
Her least favorite aspect of distance learning is having to have proctored tests. All distance learners must have someone watch them via a video link while taking unit tests or six-week tests in core subjects, including math, science, English, and social studies. The teachers usually watch through the built-in camera at the top of Chromebook screens.
Many students report a creepy feeling when taking a proctored test, with people scrutinizing them for signs of cheating.
“It makes me nervous knowing that they are staring at me,” she says.
And the most obvious difference; that she is not in a classroom learning. She also believes that she may be getting a little less work than the students in the class.
Overall, she says she has been doing great and has been very successful and satisfied with the work she has been getting. She likes online school and says, “I believe I have the same opportunities for success as I would at school.”
With her drive to be better, her ability to complete her work, and amazing teachers by her side, she will have just as amazing of a year as any freshman who attends in-person school.