A New Normal

Transitioning from a Pandemic

Daryl Mauricio, Reporter

For most teachers, the transition from online lectures to in person learning has been a challenging time. This is because COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on typical school normals.

Amleth Guerrero is a freshman English teacher at James Campbell High School (JCHS) and her views on in-person learning are what one would expect it to be.

She wants schools to be normal again, but what is normal? 

Guererro continuously gestures to her empty room that has been previously filled with students and sighs. Having to maintain a somewhat “safe” classroom by sanitizing each individual desk in between passing periods is a strenuous task to bestow upon someone. “I want to stop wearing this (facemask) … and being able to see my kids (students) smile again without their mask on, that’s what normal is to me.”

Guerrero then indulges in what ‘classroom norms’ were for her. “Before (COVID), I usually would have a student who misbehaved sit right next to me,” she points to an empty spot alongside her desk. “But since we have social distance, I can no longer do that… instead I have to monitor what my students are doing by teaching as well as sitting in the back of the room while they are faced towards the front of the room.”

Avery Jada Crisostomo, a JCHS junior, said, “Before COVID, I could always go to my teacher’s classroom whenever I needed to get help, but now it’s nearly impossible to do that since we have to keep all these ‘restrictions’ in mind.” Crisostomo expressed. “I dunno. It’s just really stressful for me since I can’t get the help as fast as I used to.”

Crisostomo  said, “To me, it feels like things are getting stricter and stricter. Ever since the Delta Variant, we have to be vaccinated in order to eat at restaurants… and now with the Omicron Variant, people are saying we’re gonna start to need booster shots to do stuff soon.” She said that she understands that things are getting strict, but it is also starting to affect her mentally. “Some of my friends aren’t vaccinated, and it just sucks going out to places without them because of it… Part of me feels like it’s missing every time I go out without my whole friend group. They’re like my second family you know? Things just aren’t how they used to be.”

Guerrero and Crisostomo are both lacking the connectivity they had with other people before COVID-19 and they are not the only ones who feel this way. As time passes, the Ewa community has an unwritten responsibility to help everyone work towards a new normal that will benefit our future.