Drastic times call for drastic measures

My experiences with online learning and my suggestions moving forward

Abby Schreiner

Abby Schreiner, staff reporter

Why online learning?

As COVID-19 continued to spread and progressively claimed lives all over the world, America’s leaders began to take precautionary measures. One of the many precautions that Presidential Trump and many others implemented included the integration of online learning in place of traditional schooling. 

Due to these events, Eaton School District began their version of “elearning” on Monday, March 30. For the first time in history, parents have been forced to help teach their children ongoing curriculum without any time to prepare. 

Teachers ranging from the elementary level all the way to the high school level have navigated the school districts’ current situation through Google Classroom, Google Hangouts, ZOOM, Google Chat Room, Loom, and G-mail. These platforms have allowed teachers to stay in contact with their students without having to leave the comfort of their homes. 

This new form of curriculum is oriented towards self motivation and organization, allowing students to do weekly assignments at their own pace. All assignments for any given week are given on Mondays, and students are expected to turn them in on Fridays. 

Due to the many different unique teaching styles of each individual teacher, many students and parents have found themselves greatly overwhelmed and confused. 

Just as everyone else, I have found myself struggling to come to terms with our new and foreign way of life. Within a week, America went from “everything will be okay” to “stay home and don’t breathe on anyone the wrong way”. 

COVID Encouragement

I am here as a beacon of unity. Every student in America is currently experiencing the effects of COVID-19. No one is in this alone, and no one has to go into it blindly. 

 

What am I doing to navigate this new challenge?

A day in my “elearning life” consists of me keeping my thoughts and life in general organized. With little to no schedule, the structure many students have taken for granted, is gone. Work for the entire week is provided over Google Classroom on Mondays , and all of it expected to be done by Friday. 

Because of this lack of structure, my first priority was to organize the “elearning” lifestyle. I implemented a schedule back into my life that consisted of me waking up at 6:00 am, starting work at 8:00 am, eating lunch at 11-11:30 am, and finishing my day around 3:00 pm. 

At the beginning of the week, I turned out to be more overwhelmed than I anticipated going into online learning. Because of this, I knew I needed to find a way to manage the workload given to me. I found much success in planning out my week day by day. 

I compiled all of my work onto a sheet specifying the class each assignment was for, the details encompassing that assignment, and when each assignment was due. By doing this, I created a concrete list that allowed me the gratifying ability to cross each one out as the week proceeded. From here, I categorized each assignment into which day I felt like doing them. 

At this point, all that was left was solidifying a schedule back into my life. To accomplish this, I did my best to make it look like a normal day at school. In the mornings, I have tried to stay on a pretty consistent routine in order to have some sense of normalcy. I wake up, get dressed, make my breakfast, and dive into the work that needs to get done. 

From there, I do what I can. The key is pacing myself and knowing when to take a break. It’s okay to let your mind be numb sometimes! By 11 or 11:30 am, I usually reach a point where I am in dire need of a break. During this hour-long period, I do whatever I need to to relax. After this hour, I am usually a bit more clear minded and motivated to do what is in front of me. 

Throughout the afternoon, I tackle more taxing work and tie up loose ends. However, everyday at 3:00 pm, I leave it where it is. I do not allow myself to push any further than needed. 

 

COVID Encouragement

Online learning is foreign to all of us, and it’s okay to not always be at 100%. Sometimes doing your best means being at 90%. As long as you continue to push forward and keep trying. Your very best is good enough.

 

I realise not everyone is like me…

I am fully aware that I am an “A” type person and probably in the minority throughout our current situation; however, at some point in every person’s life, they crave structure. Scarlett Wray, a fellow student at Eaton High School, said, “All this really challenges everything you’ve under-appreciated or taken for granted, because even seeing what teachers and classmates send over these digital platforms makes me happy; just to know they’re still existing and doing well outside of all this isolation.” 

This desire to see teachers and classmates is common throughout students and is part of the reason why many crave this “schedule” back in their lives. No one has to be as detail-oriented as I have been, but I highly suggest establishing a sense of normalcy through the day. It will help, I promise.

 

COVID Encouragement

Stay safe and stay positive. This will get better with time.