Registering for classes should not be a stressful task, yet this year, it has become one because of online school. Normally, registration is done in person and all students have accessibility to meet with teachers, counselors, and friends to discuss what classes they want to and have to take. But this year, registration has become an arduous job for everyone; students already struggling with online school, teachers handling both class and recommendations, and the counselors who are managing the whole process.
For students, remote learning has challenged student’s drive to stay motivated and present during the school day. With all of the abrupt day to day changes, our mental health has been seriously suffering. Students are finding it hard to register for classes this year as there are not many opportunities to have one on one conversations with peers, counselors, and teachers in person.
“Registering for classes this year has been a very long and stressful process,” Madison Friar ‘22 said. “I have not been able to ask any questions directly to my teachers or counselors, which has made it confusing”
When students have been unable to contact teachers or counselors, one of the best solutions to this problem is to talk with people who are more accessible to you, such as your friends or family. People who are close to you usually know you the best, so asking for help from them, especially regarding what classes to take, is a great way to navigate your way around registering for classes.
“I have used my friends and siblings to figure out what classes are best next year. Luckily, I have gotten helpful information [to help me decide my classes],” Jack Gianetto ‘22 said.
In contrast to prior years, students are faced with a lack of information and communication to complete class registration. However, teachers and counselors have been providing means to better communications with students even when everyone is online. Alongside that, students have access to those closest to them for consultation when teachers or counselors may not be able to. In order to get communication, students have to be willing to communicate.
For teachers, they have had to find ways to adapt to the online format to best respond to the needs of their students. Many teachers have been using google meet in order to discuss registration with their students. One math teacher, Brian Lamb, is using google meet and google forms in order to properly gauge what classes he wants his students to take next year.
“I gave some of my classes a Google form to fill out to help me with the recommendations. I was allowed to select the math class for next year for each student on Infinite Campus,” Lamb said.
The bond between a student and their teacher has taken a detrimental hit this year because of the online format. This is especially reflected in class registration for next year. One of these hits is seen in the inaccessibility to quick responses regarding classes.
The most reliable solution for this is email. But as Lamb describes it, “[The biggest struggle for students is] not being able to get immediate attention to their questions regarding classes next year. They have to email teachers or counselors and then wait for their response.”
The online format has forced students to decide their classes in a completely different way, however, teachers have been very supportive during this process, and have been helping students find the proper ways to discuss registration for next year.
“[I would suggest to students to] find ways to communicate to your counselor and your teachers. Use Access time to join a Google Meet. Talk to your friends about what classes they are taking,” Lamb said.
The counselors had to find a completely new way to do the registration, one that could work with the current online format. What was an already busy process, has become an even more hectic process due to a lack of face-to-face communication. As students, it can easy to forget that the counselors are also being affected by the online model. The counselors are facing the same kinds of problems that students are. This relationship that is formed around registration is not a one-way relationship, and both students and counselors wish that registration could be done differently.
“As counselors, we miss seeing students in person, we would always prefer to answer questions in person rather than over email, but we are doing our best to make sure our students have the answers they need,” Mike Sullivan, one of the school counselors, said.
Of course, given the current situation of the world, in-person registration is not possible, so to combat this, all of the counselors have been helping students through this new task by hosting online google meets in order to explain, recommend, and encourage students to properly register for next year.
“I completely understand that online meetings are no substitute for in-person meetings. However, while we are in remote learning we hope that students who are in need of support from their counselor would give the google meet format a try. In our experience, we are still able to have very productive meetings through the google meet format,” Sullivan said.
On top of all the new changes, students have been facing this school year, registering for classes virtually is a new obstacle to overcome. Without the opportunity for face-to-face communication with peers, teachers, and counselors, everyone has found this process to be more overwhelming than usual. There is a lot of uncertainty heading into next year, so students need to decide the workload they can successfully manage heading into next year’s school year. This is a crucial decision as mental health has been a big factor in participating in learning virtually. The lack of interaction has translated into feelings of unmotivation, stress, and anxiety on a day-to-day basis. Students, teachers, and counselors have to adjust to this process. As Sullivan appropriately said in his interview, “Change is difficult.”