The Standard talked to one class of students at James Denman Middle School as they came out of the Omicron wave, asking them to reflect on the last two years of learning from home and at school during a pandemic.
Rori Abernethy, who teaches 6th grade math at Denman, said the struggles her students are facing have been noticeable. Many of them are still working to catch up after two years of disruptions. In their own words, the students often felt like they had “no idea what was going on” while learning from home.
“The 6th graders are basically still 4th graders, and the 9th graders are basically still 7th graders,” said Abernethy.
But it wasn’t just school that changed for the kids. Several said that without in-person learning, they lost friends and worried about the safety of their families.
“If I’m around someone with Covid and I get it,” student Tamara Madrid said, “that’s terrifying because I don’t know how it will go for my grandparents and all the other people I live with.”
The good news is that Abernethy is already seeing signs of recovery. She’s had to reinvent her job to meet the changing needs of her students during the pandemic, but the payoff, she says, is worth it.
“It changed the way we all teach,” Abernethy said. “It’s a revolution.”Sarah Wright can be reached at [email protected].
Jesse Rogala can be reached at [email protected].