By Katie Moore
With the shift from in-person learning to virtual learning, both students and teachers have found new ways to keep in contact. Although classes have scheduled Google Meets, both the faculty and student body craved a deeper connection with the people they used to see on a daily basis. To help bring everyone closer together, many individuals have created Instagram accounts to share information, participate in fun challenges, recall memories, and stay in touch. Plenty of teachers have created these accounts in order to remain in contact with as many students as possible as well as to share some personal insight into what they have been doing during quarantine. Student Instagram pages have been focused on making quarantine a bit more fun for the student body struggling at home.
Dr. Faughey and Ms. Kalamidas are two staff members who started Instagram accounts. Dr. Faughey created her account soon after the closing of schools. She posts content about novels she’s reading to keep busy. Dr. Faughey shared that although she uses this platform to stay in touch with OBHS, it also allows her to “communicate with a global community of people who care about reading.” She also shares information about her classes, including AP Research and Introduction to Film.
Ms. Kalamidas, better known as Mindy, uses her Instagram platform to share information related to the counseling department as well as to participate in events related to the student Instagram accounts. In partnership with the @oysterbaystudents account, Mindy participated in a yoga competition with Ms. Wink, which certainly provided students with some entertainment. Mindy shared that she created the account in order to “be able to show all the Oyster Bay students that I am there for them, even when I can’t be there physically.” She and Dr. Faughey both made sure to mention how much they miss their students!
The student Instagram accounts have also been successful platforms to maintain engagement. To start, the OB Purple Cloaks created an Instagram account to share students’ favorite memories throughout the year and to simply provide everyone with some enjoyment. The account stated that they “made it their goal to stay in touch with everyone around the school and hopefully brighten their days with fun polls and games.” They also highlighted the importance of staying in touch in order to be a support system for students struggling with the shift to online learning. The Purple Cloaks gave some insight regarding their future plans with the account: “Our plan for future years is to pass on the account to the Purple Cloaks that follow us and to keep the page as a time capsule.”
@obpurplecloaks is not the only student page hoping to share a bit of joy while we are all at home. @oysterbaystudents has also created a variety of challenges and videos for students to tune into from home. This includes their “guess who” series, where baby pictures of OBHS teachers/administrators are posted, as well as their infamous unpopular opinions video, which now has almost 1,000 views! They shared that the growth of their account has made them very happy because “engaging our peers has been a priority from the start.”
Although the students and teachers running these accounts may not realize it, each has had a tremendous impact on the lives of OBHS students. These pages have sparked a little joy during this difficult time, reminding us all that we are still a strong, tight-knit community. Go follow and keep in touch with all of the OBHS students, teachers, administrators, and even departments on Instagram!