Despite Obstacles on the Return to “Normal” Staff and Students Glad to be Back Together


Students and teachers despite the struggle of communicating through masks are glad to be back in one another’s company in person.

Autumn Rohe and Chris Wilkins

School has been back in session for in person learning for a little over half the year now. Though it hasn’t been the normal most hoped for, many teachers are still grateful to be back in the buildings with their students.

Despite the continued interruptions and struggle of teaching through the pandemic, Kenwood’s science teacher Ms. Texel appreciates being back in person, “It has been great to be back in the classroom with students again and have face-to-face interactions. It has been easier to get to know my students.” Relationships built between students and staff is one of the top things teachers value about their jobs but building those relationships were hard through a computer screen last year.

First year English teacher Ms. Tomasura was so glad to start her first year in person verse through a screen. “Being able to engage with you in a classroom vs. through a screen is really awesome,” she shares.

With new regulations and procedures in place this school year, it’s been a tougher transition back to normal than hoped for but staff and students are doing their best to find the positive. Masks have been a challenge that both teachers and students have struggled with. Many thought they were going to get to return to school without masks since summer school did not require masks but right before the return to the 2021-2022 school year, it was mandated first by BCPS then the state that masks needed to be worn in schools.

Kenwood’s Chef G shares, “Masks have had some unexpected challenges that I didn’t see coming. Remembering students’ names and which class they are in is challenging because I can’t put as many facial features to my memory. Hearing students well and students hearing me clearly can be challenging since masks muffle our voices. I’m often having to ask students to repeat themselves or I mishear what they say.”

Junior student Ash O adds, “I find it hard in some of my classes to clearly understand what the teacher is saying.”

Reacclimating to the structure and expectations of in person school has been more of a struggle than anticipated too. Some students returned to the building for a few days a week last Spring but it was still a virtual teaching format while others hadn’t stepped inside a school in almost a year and a half when they returned in August. Some were completely transitioning schools as a result of a move or from middle school building to high school building whether they’re entering ninth or tenth grade. Kenwood’s administrator Ms. Ray adds, “We have to teach students how to be students again.”


It’s been a year of rebuilding and growing as students and staff reacclimate themselves to life in the school building. Hopefully after overcoming the challenges of this school year, next year will be the beginning of resembling what students and teachers left behind in February 2020.