Snoozing Off Zoom

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SLEEPING THROUGH CLASS- A big concern for students is the effect distance learning will have in the long and short term as students struggle to stay engaged during class. “It’s really hard to focus and pay attention when I’m in my own comfort zone than when we were in school where I had a working environment.” Anthony Juarez, a freshman, said

Destiny Juarez, Reporter

For many students last semester, school felt optional. However, now that being present means turning on the computer, students and teachers alike are struggling to stay positive. 

Over the summer, LAUSD worked to develop a schedule that would offer students time to work collaboratively with peers and teachers to hold discussions and interact with each other while also giving students the opportunity to work independently during asynchronous time.

However, many students feel that teachers are exhausting the synchronous time and expect them to stay on the computer for long hours after school to complete assignments. “Usually, teachers give us some time to work on homework, but some teachers use the whole class period for instruction and give us multiple assignments to do in our personal time,” said an anonymous eighth-grader. 

In an article written by Adam Endelman last year for NBC News, A four-day school week? Teachers and kids give it an ‘A.’ Parents are less enthusiastic, Edelman describes Colorado’s 27J School District’s adoption of a four-day school week. The district found that students were able to enjoy their free time, do homework, or volunteer on their extra day off, while teachers were able to attend professional developments, create lesson plans, and also soak in an extra day off.

I’m a visual learner, so not being in person makes it harder”

— Caesar Chacon

However, parents did have some opposition regarding child care and the unstructured free time. But now that students are distanced, students are spending all day online with little time to decompress. In a survey conducted through Google Forms, students were asked how they feel about having school online for four days and have one day to visit teachers through Zoom to attend office hours or catch up on missing work. The majority said they felt that would benefit them most.“It would help students like me to stay caught up on work and not be stressed out at all the time, and it would also help teachers not be so backed up on grading,” Isamar Lara, a junior, said.

Teachers are also struggling to get their students to reach out and ask for help. In-person classes allowed for teachers to see students’ expressions and assume they need help, but now that most students keep their cameras off during class, there are a lot of questions about who needs assistance. “It’s much more difficult to provide the one-on-one support many of them need, and I stress about it constantly,” Ms. Nora Torres, an eighth-grade Humanities teacher and yearbook advisor, said.

Both parties feel the miscommunication that distance learning has brought upon them. Students want their teachers to know that they are trying their best to handle school and home responsibilities. Additionally, students understand that their teachers are doing the best they can to keep them engaged. Teachers want students to know that they see them; they want their students to succeed, and that they are only a message away from providing any support they need.

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During this time, everyone is feeling the toll of COVID-19. It is important to reach out to friends, family, and teachers. It is also important to be kind during a time where everything is online whether that is turning on the mic to speak or even turning on the camera. These simple things can transform the experience for everyone and bring everyone closer than ever.