PARMA, Ohio (WOIO) - “Online was a struggle, with art class especially,” said Shiloh Middle School art teacher Tim Dicken.
“Enthusiasm has come back, and it’s been great. It’s wonderful to be back,” said music teacher Tom Foley.
Dicken saw some drop-off in participation while the Parma City School District remained remote.
“Limited supplies at home. I wasn’t going to have them do something like go buy paint, so it was a lot of drawing, which is good. But I know it can get boring,” he said.
Seventh-grader Camryn Headrick feels inspired and happy to have materials to work with and classmates to interact with again.
“When I talk to other people, I feel like I work better because you can also talk to them about, ‘Do you think this looks good? Do you think this works?’ In gym class you can also play with the other kids,” she said.
Dicken said the response to returning to in-person specials has been great.
“They’re definitely more excited. They’re in to it. They’re happy to be able to step away from all the computers for a little bit,” he said.
In Foley’s choir class, harmony has been restored after months of remote work.
“I was playing and singing and hoping they were doing the same. Because I don’t want choir to be a stressful thing,” he said.
“I literally sang to my computer in remote and I think it’s a lot better now that we’re all in the classroom and get to sing together and actually enjoy just being together and singing,” Headrick said.
“When we’re singing, it’s not singing towards a computer. We’re singing towards your teacher,” said fellow seventh grader Helena Domaneant.
“With everybody back together, it feels a little more safe for everybody to ‘let it rip.’ so to speak. So there’s been some inspiration,” Foley said.
Students like Anika Kekic said being with her friends and teachers again has been a great a way to cope with what’s been a tough year.
“It’s helped me feel more comfortable and just, feel like a person again,” she said.