New teachers and students crushing start of year with spirit

Señora Santaella in her classroom, ending the day in a virtual mode. 
Santaella is thrilled to join the Xavier community this year and to have students back on campus. She prepared 
to teach online by attending an online program.

Kali Riddell/XPress photo

Señora Santaella in her classroom, ending the day in a virtual mode. Santaella is thrilled to join the Xavier community this year and to have students back on campus. She prepared to teach online by attending an online program.

Layla Torres, Staff Writer

“Back to school.” This phrase is usually, and understandably, responded to with sighs from students and teachers. However, this year is anything but normal given the circumstances of online learning, and this makes some students and teachers very nervous. 

This is not the case, however, for new students and new teachers this year. 

New Xavier students and teachers affirmed they were not only prepared for the year, they were ready to take it on with positive attitudes. 

Freshman Daisy Roslaes exemplified this bright viewpoint by saying, “I just think it’s going to be a fun year, meeting new people and having new friends.”  

This outlook came from preparation. Most freshmen were ready for this year, specifically for online learning, due to their experience with online learning from their middle schools and other programs. Rosales said that she prepared for this year because her previous school finished out the year online, making online school at Xavier easier for adaptation.                         

However, adapting to Google Meets and attendance quizzes was not as easy for students who did not have experience with distance learning. 

Mia Accomazzo, another freshman at Xavier, said she didn’t have any idea what she was coming into in regards to online learning, because her prior school had not participated in distance learning. Fortunately, Accomazzo was able to prepare and gain experience through taking a summer school class online before starting school.

New online techniques, learning styles and schedules have been proven to be a bit confusing to new students, however. Online-learning can be a bit bewildering because students don’t always see classmates and friends. Despite this, Accomazzo said that she was happy that “Xavier has really made it easy to get to know people” because it helps her get more involved in clubs. 

These new students are not the only ones who have optimistic outlooks or new ideas. New teachers are also remaining positive and have developed innovative techniques for teaching online this year. 

New, but a returning, teacher Adrienne Hestenes said, “I’ve been learning all sorts of new, interesting apps that I can share with my students.” New Spanish teacher Noemi Santaella said that she prepared by taking development courses over the summer to help her learn how to better reach out to her students through distance learning. 

Santaella also added that Xavier provided teachers with everything they needed to implement their online programs and make sure every student could do their best.

Hestenes added, “I’m having a great time,” and Santaella said, “I really enjoy teaching at Xavier and I have wonderful students.”

With this energy and determination, new students and teachers at Xavier have demonstrated that no matter what restrictions or problems online learning may provide, a positive attitude and tenacity are keys to success.