All educators miss the face-to-face contact we have with students every day in the school building. It’s about the learning but it’s also the constant feedback loop between kids and adults that tells us how we’re doing and also, how they’re doing! I was inspired by the brilliant Lisa Meade’s guest post by one of her high school kids so I reached out to a high school kid who is stuck in my own house with me every day to share her thoughts on the pandemic and remote school.
The following are the sincere and articulate reflections of my amazing daughter Olivia, a 10th grader at a Long Island High School:
How are you doing?
I honestly feel like I’m doing well now that I am really getting used to this whole distance learning thing. I’m curious to see if anything will change when we finally go back to school. Personally, I have never struggled with depression and/or severe stress or anxiety but I do have friends that continue to struggle with these things every day. I have been told that they are feeling better with a lighter workload and more time to complete assignments. I find it important that we as students get a heavy but fair workload so that we can learn how to manage our time especially since the workload only gets worse in college from what I’ve heard. On the other hand, some teachers just don’t get when enough is enough so I’m curious to see if they will have a new perspective after this.
How much time do you spend on “remote school” each day?
I spend between 3 and 4 hours a day on remote school. I believe I get a pretty fair amount of work each day. Out of those hours, my time is mostly focused on AP World History and Algebra 2.
What are you finding difficult about this?
It’s difficult not having a teacher next to me to answer all of my questions when needed. However, most of my teachers have been fairly quick in responding to my emails and have done an okay job at explaining in enough detail the answers to my questions. I only have one teacher that struggles and while I do understand that this is hard for everyone, especially when they have young kids at home, it does make it harder for students to adjust. I wouldn’t exactly describe this as difficult but I don’t particularly enjoy it when I get a 40-minute video to watch with 6 pages of notes to go with it followed by 3 pages of homework.
What would you do to improve “remote school”?
Teachers need to go live. My AP Capstone Seminar teacher consistently goes live once a week and there’s really not much he can even do to help us anyway. He’s not allowed to answer specific questions or help us with our reports that will get submitted to the College Board. Although he can’t exactly help so much with the work and it’s a small class of about 10 students (all of which don’t even join the live), it’s still nice to see my classmates and my teacher. Our teachers want us to stay active in our work but in order to do so, I think it’s important that they stay active with us and not merely by just posting assignments every day especially since I’m sure half the kids are just sending them around.
What’s working for you?
I enjoy being able to get up in the morning and workout without having to worry about sitting down at a certain time to do my work. Although, this wouldn’t be possible if my teachers were doing live classes on a daily basis which could be helpful but I wouldn’t know. I have one teacher that frequently leaves comments on my daily assignments. This is especially helpful because I can then ask follow up questions surrounding my work and ask about any corrections made. My AP World History teacher also sends out google forms to just check-in and ask us about how we’re doing with the workload. I think this is helpful because she reads our responses and then emails us individually about them. This shows how much she cares.
Thanks Olivia… what’s for dinner?