My Experience Joining a New School in a Pandemic
Alexandria Adkins. Middle School and High School Humanities

This summer, in addition to enjoying extra time to read and spend time with family and friends, I packed up my life in the San Francisco Bay Area and moved to Seattle, a city I had only visited once. Moving was not a new concept to me; I have moved around the world many times. However, what was new was moving to a school I had only experienced through Zoom conversations and online photos.

While I certainly enjoyed hearing about Forest Ridge through my online conversations with admin and teachers, there is nothing that quite compares to being on campus. The energy at Forest Ridge has made my new entry into this new community quite memorable. From learning how to navigate the campus to learning the Forest Ridge terminology, in many ways, I am still finding my place within this community.

As I reflect upon this transition, I am reminded of why I became a teacher in the first place. Working with each of my students as they navigate the complexities of Social Studies or English is certainly part of my job. However, I see a huge part of my responsibility to be empowering each individual to take ownership of their learning and their relationships with one another. One of the reasons I was so excited to join Forest Ridge was the dedicated SEL time for each grade. As a teacher, you can try to teach your students everything they need to know about a specific topic, but if you don’t care for the individual and help them develop effective skills to navigate challenges, your job is only partially complete. In this goal, I feel lucky to be part of a community where each adult on this campus works towards this common goal. 

While I may still be learning what it fully means to be a Forest Ridge Raven and I have yet to experience my first Congé, I know that even behind our masks, we are smiling and approaching each day with joy.