Every third Wednesday at work, the communications department has car rider line duty. Every third week, it is my turn. To be honest, it is one of my favorite things to do.
Why? Because greeting the students as they bound out of the car onto campus lets me capture some of that youthful energy and starts my day off right.
Working from home has its perks. Getting to wear a hat and shorts to the home office isn't a bad thing. I also don't have to put up with the morning traffic on Germantown Parkway. But honestly, I would give anything to put the shirt, tie and slacks on and take that drive into campus.
Thursday morning, I was invited into Dr. Robin Trusty's advisory via a Zoom meeting invite to ask the students what they liked and missed most about being on campus and around their friends and teachers.
As the meeting started, I caught a glimpse of that campus energy as the students all immediately began chatting it up with each other about life, the day and what they had been doing. You could almost feel that middle-school excitement coming through the monitor.
They love parts of virtual learning. As a whole, I think they all love that every day has the potential to be pajama day. They also have grown to like working at their own pace, giving them the ability to spend extra time on assignments or finish at their own pace.
"I like the independence and the ability to work on my schoolwork throughout the day," Max Chi '27 said.
"I love having breaks in my day and working at my own pace," Sophia Page '27 said.
After a few minutes of agreeing that working from your room in your pajamas is an amazing perk, talk quickly shifted to what they missed.
"I miss my friends," Sophia said. "And hugging my teachers and friends."
For Noor Sandhu '27, it was having the work and everything she needed right in front of her. She also misses the individualized and immediate help being in the same room as a teacher offers.
"One of my favorite parts of campus is walking past people I am not in a class with but have been friends with during my time at Lausanne," Madison Thomas '27 said. "I like walking around seeing people I remember from my past at school."
Trusty even shared what she missed.
"I miss coming into my classroom where Sophia is watering my plants for me and keeping them alive," Dr. Trusty said. "I miss the high fives, hugs, dances and fist bumps coming into the classroom. I want to transport to their homes and help them one-on-one when they are struggling, but I can't. The individualized attention online is something, but it can never compare to the comfort of being surrounded by the children you love."
Over and over, they took turns—each time arriving at the same place. Virtual learning is awesome. The Lausanne teachers are making it engaging, fun and interactive. They are making the most of the situation.
But nothing will ever replace the family atmosphere that 1381 West Massey Road provides.
The laughs. The smiles. The familiar faces. The hugs.
Lausanne is built around seven core values, including creating a joyful and challenging learning process and helping students build meaningful relationships. As I looked in on one Zoom meeting of many that are happening daily with Lausanne classes as they meet in a digital environment, I saw both of those on display and it occurred to me that even in these unique circumstances...The Lausanne Way is still very much the heartbeat of our faculty, staff and students.
Things will return to "normal" at some point and you will find me every third Wednesday smiling as the cars pull up to campus to start the day saying some of my favorite words.
"Good morning. Welcome to Lausanne. Have a great day!"
This story was written by Steven Russell, Digital Content Manager and member of the Lausanne Communications Department. If you would like to share your Virtual Learning story with us, feel free to email it to us at email@example.com. We love sharing and telling your stories.