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  • Mitchell Vayser

How Does the Edgemont Community Feel About the Beginning of the School Year?

School – it's like a jungle. There are many different groups of people: there’s the seemingly miniscule seventh graders, the NPC’s, the wannabe hippies, the senior drivers, and that one kid who thinks this is a military school.

For many people, it may be complicated to navigate Edgemont. You can have AP Calculus in the C building, but then AP Psych in the D building, and after that it's back to APES in the B building. For somebody just starting out at Edgemont, such complexity can be very tiring and annoying. For example, Alwing Jing (‘29) said, “It's kind of hard getting everywhere, but the teachers are nice and I really like the school.” I'm not sure how my peers feel, but I think it becomes a monotonous routine by the time you’re a senior.

On top of the schedules, the work that you do can be far more difficult than navigating around campus. An anonymous junior said, “So far it (school) hasn't been great. Teachers didn't ease into the workload at all, we just jumped right into everything.” An anonymous seventh grader carped, “I was dreading it because even though summer lowkey sucked, I actually had free time and no work everyday. Now that we're back in school, the work comes back for a long nine months.” Abdullah Waleed (‘24) lamented, “I do not feel good about the beginning of the school year. I had a great summer, and then it ended, and I had to go back to school. Also, for some reason, last year I decided to take all the hard classes, so now I am taking classes that are way too difficult for me.” Many people don't want to go back to school after summer, and for seniors, this school year is the end of our Edgemont careers.

On the other hand, there are students who like school. Ava Thomas (‘25) said, “I'm definitely ready to jump into school this year, and I feel like summer has reached a point where I'm ready to get back into a structured schedule and work hard, as much as I do love summer.” Feba George (‘28) observed, “I feel like this year is going to be great! I am feeling motivated and productive to work this year.” In the beginning, most people tend to complain about returning to school, but after a couple of months, they get back into the routine. Then, maybe — just maybe — they begin to actually like school, especially since Edgemont is such a kind, loving, and caring community (really, I mean it).

Now that you have heard from a few students at Edgemont, you are probably wondering what the staff think about the beginning of the school year. Math teacher Ms. Forgione said, “I have very mixed feelings when it comes to the beginning of the school year. I love summer! I love the warm weather, being at the pool or the beach, the slower pace of life, and spending days with my family. My boys don’t go to camp, so we spend our days swimming, taking the dog to the park, or finding an adventure for the day. I have more time to read and get things done around the house. I am always so sad to see it end. The new school year is exciting though. I love meeting all of my new students and getting to know them. This year, I have mostly seniors, who I have never taught before, so it is fun getting to know them before they leave. Senior year is fun to be a part of, even as a teacher. Watching [them] go through the college process and get those acceptances is amazing! Watching [them] experience your “lasts” is bittersweet. Even though I love summer and the slower pace, it’s also nice to be back on a schedule and know what’s coming each day. I can’t wait to attend sporting events, plays, and other activities and get to see all of my students in a different light! I have so many things to look forward to as the school year starts.”

Mr. Moses, a P.E. teacher, shares, “My favorite part of the new school year is how it is filled with positivity and excitement. Everyone is anxiously eager to start off on the right foot and make good first impressions. I love getting to know my new groups of students every year and building meaningful connections with them. That being said, it is always bittersweet at the start of the school year knowing that all that family time I enjoyed will be less until next summer rolls around."

Spanish teacher Ms. Salzano said, ”As a teacher, I am always nervous about how my schedule will rotate with the block schedule. Also, I get nervous about what my teaching duties will be (testing room duty, lunch duty, library duty, etc.). Otherwise, I am excited to start a new year, with new students and energy in the classroom. I am always impressed and proud to witness their academic and personal growth throughout the year. I am looking forward to building relationships with my new students, and having fun in class! This year we are implementing a new Spanish comprehensible-input curriculum called Somos that will be an adjustment for teachers and students of the seventh and eighth grade classes. Now that the school year has started, I have gotten back into a healthy routine, personally and for work, including food prepping, balancing the time to exercise, being prepared for the next school day, and getting enough sleep. Every day is different, with different afternoon plans and schedules, but if I can plan ahead and be in control of all the changing factors, I feel better about it - mentally and physically.”

Mr. Darby, a social studies and psychology teacher, said, “I like my classes this year. Typically, I see many of my 10th graders for AP Psychology, but not the case this year, so I am disappointed that I don’t get to work with them again in a different capacity. I like the new 9th graders in my Global 1 class and the new batch of 10th graders whom I did not teach last year. I look forward to working with them.

One of my favorite things about the new school year is meeting new people. A cornerstone of my teaching style is establishing new relationships with my new students and strengthening the connection with my former students. This year I only have a handful of former students, and the majority of my classes consist of students I have never met. I see this as an opportunity to get to know these students and give them an experience they will look back on with fondness. Every year is a new opportunity to try something new or tweak an existing lesson. Each year I tweak or rework my notorious colored class notes packets for each of my classes. Never has there been a year where I have used exactly the same thing twice.

Additionally I am planning on incorporating new, short demonstrations in my AP Psychology classes. Last year, my students did some amazing demonstrations as part of a presentation. My goal is to use their ideas and incorporate them into my lesson plan. I work year round, so I am never really out of a routine. I took several classes over the summer, so I had projects to complete and turn in. However, it took some getting used to when classes began, but once things got moving it was like I never left for the summer. Additionally, I wake up early each morning and train in Jiu Jitsu (class begins at 6:30 am) so this is not different for me when school starts.”

Everyone seems to feel a bit differently about the beginning of the school year. Now that you have heard from the students and teachers here at Edgemont, what is your assessment of the start of the new school year? How is your schedule compared to last year or the years before? These questions would probably work as good conversation starters for when you’re bored and don't want to talk about the weather.


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