3 Things I Learned from Distance Learning During COVID-19

By Cristina Medrano

In my 18 years, I’ve never experienced anything resembling the altered reality we find ourselves in daily thanks to COVID-19. None of us have. Once-in-a-century global pandemics have a way of rewriting the rules. 

Students everywhere are adjusting to distance learning, but it’s been especially strange for us at Chinquapin. As you might know, Chinquapin is a boarding school — so not only are we accustomed to working in classrooms, we’re also accustomed to living on campus. Acclimating ourselves to this new style brought additional issues in the form of technology and connectivity. And now that we’re mostly up-and-running, I’ve realized three major things. 

1) Chinquapin students are focused and ambitious.

As the days grew closer to the first online class, I was curious about how students would react. “It will probably be chaotic.” It wasn’t until the first couple of days that I remembered how ambitious and focused Chinquapinian students can be. 

Class discussions, lectures, and independent workshops within the online classes remained successful because both students and teachers are so devoted to our education. While there’s obviously a physical separation between our teachers and students, nothing can block our determination to advance in our schooling. 

2) The Chinquapin community is amazingly resilient.

Without skipping a heartbeat, the Chinquapin Admin Team met and worked diligently to find the best direction for curriculums to continue while most importantly considering their students’ safety, well being, and education. Meanwhile, our class group chats became the center of our attention as we anxiously awaited any updates. When we got emails and calls about online classes, I think it is safe to say that for all Chinquapinians, we gave a collective sigh of relief. I thought, “Yes! I’m still going to graduate.”

I believe that as a community we do not look back at the transition to distance learning with burden, but rather with gratitude for an opportunity to keep working Chinquapin Strong

3) We can overcome adversity through unity.

Like a family, Chinquapin faculty, students, and staff equally share the drive to help one another. As we did during Hurricane Harvey, support and contact was never lost. I’ve sent and received hundreds (if not thousands) of texts, emails, and calls from teachers and classmates asking about our safety and peace of mind. 

I’m proud to realize that Chinquapin’s unity is not defined by a campus, but by a passionate connection shared by the entire community. This is what makes it special. 

As with the rest of the world, Chinquapin is moving on as best we can. It’s wonderful to know we have the focus, resilience, and unity to get this together.

From all of us at Chinquapin, we appreciate your continued support. If you’re looking for additional ways to help our community in need as we navigate a new reality, please consider donating one or more items from our faculty wish lists.


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