Reflecting After The Pandemic

Students and staff express excitement over the pandemic coming to an end.


After two years of longing and many changes to people’s normal lifestyles, the pandemic is finally reaching its end. The once strict protocols have been relieved, letting people go out to public places and most importantly going back to attending school. Throughout COVID, many challenges were thrown at everyone in the St. Charles school district. The whole district had to adapt to the once risky environment brought by the pandemic. With the new school year beginning and fewer restrictions in place, teachers, staff and students are all thrilled about going back to regular school life.

“There’s so many things that are so much nicer in terms of less hoops that we have to jump through and less protocols to follow,” science teacher Alex Messina said.

The biggest change that happened in the past years was when schools shut down at the beginning of COVID. Most students were open to staying safe at home and attending classes through Zoom. This was until grades dropped and teachers noticed that lessons taught during Zoom were not sticking with their students. Reflecting back on this learning experience, the question on the table is why did students have such a struggle learning through Zoom?

Messina shared his input on this topic from his personal experiences with attending Zoom classes. “It’s so easy to do anything else that isn’t listening to whoever is in that box or watching them,” he said.

Not only was it hard for students to focus while attending classes through Zoom, students didn’t get the same social interaction as being physically present in class would’ve offered. With lack of hands-on learning, it was clear that students and teachers were missing their old routines of attending classes in person. 

We don’t have to contact trace, we don’t have to quarantine and I get to see my students again.

— Alex Messina

“I never liked Zoom and would rather be in person,” senior Jackie Cortez-Lopez admitted.

“I have settled back with being in person, I was done with Zoom,” senior Adriana Bradley agreed.

There are many smaller changes that have appeared throughout St. Charles High School in which students took notice too. During COVID, faculty thought it was best to move some lunch tables from the cafeteria to the commons. This was completed with the sole purpose of following the six foot apart rule issued during the pandemic. In addition to the lunch tables, meals began costing money again after being free throughout the pandemic. Students have many personal opinions about the changes in the cafeteria. 

“I feel like the cafeteria is more crowded and it was a lot nicer when some tables were in the commons, if students wanted to have more personal space they had the option to go up there to eat rather than sit in the cafeteria,” Bradley said.

“It doesn’t matter if lunch costs money again, I will still buy lunch,” Jackie said.

Even with the little changes made throughout St. Charles High over the summer, students and staff have all gotten used to the usual school routine this brand new school year. It has been noted that there has been a change of tone throughout the building. Students are more willing to be at school and teachers are more relaxed with the ability to once again see their students and teach them valuable lessons while being able to connect with them. 

“I feel like you guys are happier, the students are happier and it feels like a less pressured environment,” Messina said. 

The St. Charles school district had to adapt in many ways to coordinate with the pandemic’s restrictions, but now that the pandemic is less of a threat, students and staff are all looking forward to having a normal school year. 

“We had to do what we had to do and that’s fair, I get that, but I’d rather never go back ever again,” Messina said.