Students, teachers need time to adjust to Remote Learning


Jacob Zalis

Despite shorter classes with longer breaks between Zoom calls, I find the online learning system much more tiring than a regular schoolday.

I suspect a large part of this weariness has nothing to do with the actual content of the classes, though the work is a stressor in its own right, but more the fact that this feels less like a new spin on handling classes and more like an entirely new system to get accustomed to.

I doubt I am alone in relishing the ability to spend my time as I please over this semi-vacation with minimal scheduling involved. While a certain level of routine is necessary in order to remain healthy, to suddenly launch right back into the swing of the school year after nearly a month away is jarring, to say the least. Aside from the impact of having to launch back into a school routine, the distance learning format proves stressful for  students in other ways.

I find the Sunday before the workweek particularly draining, as teachers sporadically reach out with assignments and schedules with little to no warning. This feeling, which extends into Monday, may feel like a mad dash to organize supplies in order to best be prepared.

Where teachers usually dispense work on a daily basis, this new format has one assignment given for the entire week. As a result, I find myself rushing to get as much done as I can on Monday, leaving myself exhausted and with little more work to do during the rest of the week in a taxing and inefficient work cycle.

This system does not seem sustainable either as, while the first week or two in this program may mainly encompass review, in the coming weeks learning new content in this system would likely feel disjointed. This system feels like it needs to be streamlined before teachers begin to really advance with content.

On Thursdays, when class meetings begin,  I find myself in a similar state to the start of the week, rushing to find and secure Zoom links for my classes. Prepared as I am, I find the meetings utterly exhausting. Trying to focus and retain information in such a new environment is extremely difficult, making it easy to lose focus occasionally towards the end of the day.

Overall this program doesn’t seem so much like a new spin on the learning system but an entirely new program that students will need ample time to adjust to, which may bring on excessive stress and tire students. While I was lucky enough to have teachers who eased back into the workweek rather than assigning a heap of work, the same may not go for every student.