St. Martha 6th graders share lessons learned during lockdown

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and extended distance learning forced upon Catholic school students in the Diocese of Venice, is likely difficult to quantify.

One St. Martha Catholic School teacher in Sarasota created a document for her sixth-grade students to evaluate the time of eLearning. Sister Cathy Bonfield, School Sister of Notre Dame, added to that evaluation the following question: “What life lesson did you learn that you can apply to your future?”

“As a teacher for 50+ years, I believe that it is important to help students process situations and learn from them,” Sister Cathy explained. “For sure, this is a moment in history that they will remember.  Hopefully, they will also remember the life lessons learned and apply them in their futures.”

As one might imagine, the responses covered a wide spectrum of topics from being happy to sleep in late, to proclaiming time management and organization are needed to succeed at distance learning. However, others offered a more practical and sometimes philosophical response.

The 100 responses were posted on the St. Martha Catholic School Facebook page. Here is a small sampling:

  • Even in bad times, we’ll all have to be there for each other.
  • I do not have to be afraid of failing because God is with me.
  • Washing your hands is very important.
  • I have learned how to manage my time, spend quality time with my family, and have fun.
  • If you don’t have something you’re used to, you tend to miss it a lot.
  • Life can throw anything at you, but you have to push through.
  • I learned that I am very fortunate to have these (online Google classroom) Meets and being able to have an education.
  • Family is one of the most important things in my life.
  • Be grateful for what you have, appreciating healthcare workers more, making sure that your family knows that you love them.
  • This experience really has been making me even more sure that I want to be a teacher.
  • It is so important to spend quality time with your family. Hanging out with them more… allows me to see what their lives are like in the day.
  • I learned that teachers are working very hard to allow us to even get a learning component during quarantine.
  • My anxiety shouldn’t stop me from doing things… because coronavirus can’t and shouldn’t stop me from doing these things.
  • You have to learn to deal with whatever comes your way.
  • The government makes lots of decisions.
  • It takes a lot of time to make a vaccine. It takes a lot of time for things to happen.
  • I can help my family during this hard time.
  • Life is boring during this time. I want to see my friends. I just miss school.
  • My family is always there for me.
  • A small thing can become a worldwide disaster.
  • Staying healthy is important.
  • Being with your family 24/7 for a few months is not as bad as it sounds, even with having two older sisters.
  • Life is precious, and it needs to be taken seriously because everything can change quickly and (you) usually end up missing something.
  • Things can come at any time. I learned not to live in fear.
  • Change is unexpected and teaches you lessons. Do not take anything for granted and enjoy every moment.