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  • Writer's pictureJWMS Newspaper Club

Thoughts on the 2019-2020 School Year by Aurora R.

This has been a hard school year for all of us, but we managed to get through it. Even though we didn’t get to have the in-person experiences, it was still a great year. I interviewed a few willing students and teachers for their opinions on the 2019-2020 school year.

Q1: What did you like the most about the 2019-2020 school year?

Getting to know my students this year was definitely my favorite part! Seeing how much each of them grew and matured throughout the year was amazing. - Mrs. Bobay

I liked my classes this year--I got to teach some really interesting, fun, smart, and creative students. My students kept me on my toes and kept me "fresh"--coming up with creative and different ideas and ways to teach and present ideas. - Mme Parente

What I liked the most: loved having our new PE additions - including our 2 new turf fields, new track, and newly done main gym! - Ms. Chang

This sounds so corny, but what I loved most was getting to know students in person. There's so much that can be expressed person-to-person and I'm so glad we were able to get a better sense of each other before distance learning. Each year, I look forward to figuring out the personalities of my students and seeing how their individual personalities influence the personality or atmosphere of our entire class! - Ms. Wontrop

This was my first year teaching all 6th grade and I loved getting to work in a different grade level (I've only taught 7th grade and one class of 6th grade last year). It was fun to get to know a different age group of students. - Ms. Finelli

I really enjoyed the field trip to the Smithsonian National Zoo - I had a lot of fun walking around seeing the animals (Bye Bei Bei!) and hanging out with my group. - Ms. Nystrom

What I liked most about the 2019-2020 school year were the times where my room was super busy during R & R. It's noisy...but it's a busy, productive kind of noise. I like it best when small groups of kids are working together on something. It's fun to coach them, but it's also a lot of fun to watch them figure things out together; the natural leader comes out, and the group works together to get better. It's awesome. I love doing after school coaching for Solo & Ensemble Festival for the same reason. - Mrs. Staub

I really liked how the teachers at JW always strive to help their students become successful, and give the support that students need. For example, although we students could not attend Outdoor Ed, we were still able to have it virtually thanks to the JW teachers. I appreciate their hard work and hope to see them again next year! - Petra P.

I liked making new friends and the school dances. - Sophie N.

My favorite time was when I made a new friend *cough cough* - Anonymous Student

My favorite part of this year was spending time with new friends and teachers. - Anonymous Student


Q2: What did you like the least about the 2019-2020 school year?

Definitely having to end the school year online! It breaks my heart that I cannot say goodbye to students in person and that you all were not able to experience Outdoor Ed in the traditional way! It also was a big adjustment (even for teachers!) and took a while to feel comfortable with this new method of teaching/learning. - Mrs. Bobay

Two words: CORONA VIRUS! The fact that it ended so abruptly and I never got a chance to say good-bye to everyone in person. Distance teaching just isn't the same--it's no fun to teach to a screen. I hate seeing black screens--I live to interact with you silly people! It's your energy that keeps me going--even when the energy is off the walls and makes me a little bonkers! LOL! Teaching; being a teacher, isn't supposed to be like this and I miss my students, my fellow teachers, and all the social stuff that happens in the school building. I miss the crazy hallways, yelling at students to stop running in the hallways and to please, please, please be on time for class and not yell at the person right beside them. I would give almost anything to go back to that right now. - Mme Parente

What I liked the least: having our school year cut off short, not being able to see and meet with my students smiling faces, not being able to give our 8th graders a proper goodbye because we are going to miss them greatly :( - Ms. Chang

What I'm super bummed about is not getting to say goodbye to my kids, but especially the 8th graders! At least with the 6th and 7th graders, I can see them next year. - Ms. Wontrop

This is probably a given, but having to leave school so suddenly! When we left in March, I never thought we wouldn't be coming back. Aside from the challenges of having to teach online, I'm so sad that I didn't get a proper goodbye to all my students! - Ms. Finelli

I wasn't a fan of the coronavirus - especially not going to JW and seeing everyone in person. - Ms. Nystrom

What I liked least about the 2019-2020 school year... distance learning. That busy, productive noise that I love so much, that inspires me to move faster and work harder, was absent. I missed my students so much. Making live music with my groups every single day. And I missed the fun...the Hershey Park Trip, spring concerts, all of the times where I could see a group "click" and really come together as people and musicians. It made me sad to miss all of that with everyone. - Mrs. Staub

I was sad that we got to miss so many fun, interactive events like the end of the year field trip and Outdoor Ed, but understand that canceling these events was necessary to protect ourselves. I have high hopes for the years to come! - Petra P.

I didn’t like the virtual school and I don’t like that they give us so much work - Sophie N.

Least favorite time was when knowing I am about to become a 7th grader - Anonymous Student

What I liked least about this school year was having to stay home during the rest of the year. - Anonymous Student


Q3: Do you have any thoughts about the 2019-2020 school year?

Just that I hope all my 6th graders come back and see me at some point! (when we are allowed, obviously) - Mrs. Bobay

This school year was definitely a year of transition and change for many of us and for our society at large. I think if we take the momentum that is building, and apply the lessons we should be learning, we can use it to do and be better. I really hope we do. - Mme Parente

Hmm, this is a hard one. I guess that this whole experience just feels surreal. It almost feels like something out of a book or movie--I never thought I'd actually be teaching online unless I actively sought out that kind of position. That being said that, I'm impressed with the responsibility that so many of my students have demonstrated. It's impressive to see how many really stepped up to the plate and put their best foot forward during this time. As much as we can all be exhausted from the daily grind, this pandemic has made us appreciate so much that we take for granted, like going to school and being able to interact on a more personal level! - Ms. Wontrop

I think every student (from Kindergarten to College) should be so proud of what they accomplished this year. I have taken a few online classes to get my Master's Degree and it's really hard! Students this year took between 4 and 7 online classes, all at once, which is an accomplishment that most adults would struggle with. I'm very proud of all my students!

- Ms. Finelli

This year didn't end the way I wanted, but I still had a great year and made some fun memories! - Ms. Nystrom

I want to wish my 8th graders the best of luck in high school. This is my third year at JW; this graduating class and I "started middle school" together. The first class that I've had for all three years. I've watched them grow up, and now it's time for them to move on. I'd like to be able to wish them good luck in person, but this will have to do. I'm proud of the progress our music program has made; it's grown in number, and it's improved in skill and musicianship. I love working with Mr. Spruill and Mrs. Lilley; we make a good team. JW is a special place...I'm so glad that I'm here! - Mrs. Staub

This school year may have had some unexpected twists, but was overall okay. I think that when we go back to school, things might not be exactly the same, but we will still be the same JW community. Like Friedrich Nietzsche, a German philosopher, once said, "That which does not kill us makes us stronger." - Petra P.

Some of my thoughts are, I wish we never had to stay home, and that we do not have to do anything similar next school year. - Anonymous Student


This year was definitely a difficult, and different year, but it’s going to be a year we never forget because we’re always going to remember this time when we were very strong.

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