Connecting Remotely


Remote learning is a new obstacle students have to face.

It’s been one month since school started back and teachers and students are still adapting to the new changes. Hutchison School’s upper school only returned at 50% capacity, giving students the option to be completely remote. Students experience both pros and cons when going fully remote.

Teachers are constantly finding new ways to help students that are not on campus feel more connected in the classroom. “It’s not easy,” said Pam Shumake, Director of Counseling at Hutchison. “It’s not so difficult that we can’t manage and we are figuring it out, but it’s challenging.” Ms. Shumake quickly discovered that the girls who were remote needed their own advisory where they could meet together. “I had all remote girls meet at first,” Mrs. Shumake said. “I think that really helps you feel like you are not the only one on the screen.” Gathering all remote students in one place allows them to create a sense of community. They share the same problems and concerns and are able to share thoughts and ideas on how to stay productive from home.

Students have learned that organization is key when it comes to doing school at home. “It’s a challenge at first,” said Lacy Williams ‘23. “But you get used to it. It’s really hard if you don’t have good time management skills. There aren’t any teachers looking over your shoulder.” While Lacy likes having access to meet with teachers one on one, she did say “I feel like I’m not as connected as I was before.” Less interaction in person has resulted in some students feeling less connected to their peers and teachers. During this period of time, students must really be responsible and not depend so much on the teacher’s help. These students take on another level of responsibility and accountability. 

Remote school learning has also given students time to focus on themselves and to put time away for themselves, while they’re home all day. “It’s definitely helped with my mental health,” Madison Fisher said. The schedule has also allowed for more flexibility for students. “I have more time, more freedom to do things.” When students have class online they can talk on the phone with their friends all day, so they don’t feel like they’re disconnecting from each other. “Staying connected with friends could be a challenge for some students,” Madison Fisher said. “All my friends are remote except one, so we pretty much facetime every second of the day when we are not in class.” The main benefits of online school are having more time for self-care and a more flexible schedule. 

Since it is only the first semester, students online are experiencing hardships. Teachers are interacting with students to help them to be accountable during remote learning. They also help students feel more comfortable and make the best of virtual school. Overall everyone is playing an important part in making online the best for themselves, and luckily they have just a few problems to be aware of. Like Lacey said, “You need to take control and finally act like a highschooler.”