COVID-19 part seven: Student views on continous learning

When leaving the building on March 19 for spring break, students were unaware that it would be their last day in the building for the 2019-20 school year. For some, it was their last day in the building during their high school experience. After the state suspended all K-12 schools for the rest of the year, the high school transfered to all online classes. Some classes had an easy transition\; however, more hands-on classes have proved a difficult transition for the final quarter.
“Human Body Systems is a really hard class to move online because you really need in-depth hands-on learning for some of the units we do, but now that it’s moved online I feel we aren’t getting the full learning experience but we are working through it,” sophomore Jodie Masters said.
Because art classes use almost completely hands-on work, these classes are especially difficult to transfer to an online platform. It also brings with it an entirely new set of losses for the end of the year.
“I can’t finish my dinner set, have my own booth at the art show to show all my stuff, I can’t finish the mural, I can’t paint a ceiling tile and I can’t paint my face on Mrs Q’s wall,” senior Kayla Anderson said. “I am also sad about not being able to walk the stage with my friends. I made so many friends this year in my art classes and that’s what made art so fun. It’s hard to do my art without the inspiration from my pals.”
However, even with classes that were able to have a smooth transition, changing to online classes has affected other factors like student motivation.
“Something that has been difficult in this transition is getting motivation to actually do the work. The easy part is splitting the work up and having the time to get it all done,” Masters said.
There are many other complications in the switch to online learning. Anderson believes that her mental health has been affected by the lack of routine and motivation.
“Dealing with my mental health during this process has not been easy. I am now more prone to depressive episodes in which I lay in bed all day and watch anime. Those days I get no work done and end up pushing it off til the last minute. I am able to video chat with my therapist which is helping greatly,” Anderson said.
While Masters believes that the district handled the issue well, Anderson wishes the district had completely frozen third quarter grades. However, both agree that teachers have done really well in the face of this change.
As a senior, Anderson faces a unique end of year schedule with the loss of graduation, senior prom and other personally important milestones. Yet, she is able to find some comfort in looking to the future, and the health of her own family.
“I am coping with these losses and letting them be because I cannot single handedly fix this whole situation. I have learned to accept it and focus on my future life in college,” Anderson said. “Yes, losing this part of my life stinks but I am glad that my family and I are healthy during this time period. This has let me focus on the things in my life that I am lucky to have because it could always be worse.”

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