West students head back to school from distance

Esperanza Garcia, Staff Writer

Spring break is officially over and it’s time for the students to continue their classes.

However, the manner with which West students went back to school on Tuesay was not what anyone wanted. Due to the coronavirus, everyone will be in an online setting. 

Mr. Stephen Paulson, a history teacher at West said, “Today was hard to predict. Never in my career did I think I would be doing this. With that said, I was very pleased to see how many students logged in and were excited to chat and get work done. The first class I talked with was a bit odd with not seeing anyone but it became normal very quickly.” 

This can be both difficult for both the student to learn as well as for the teachers to teach their materials. Paulson had to change a lot of his lesson plans saying, “My lesson plans are very different. I follow a specific model for my lessons at West and that does not fit in an online class.”

Senior Itzel Gonzalez Rios added,” My education will be impacted a lot because it seems way too easy, and it’s not the challenge that I signed up for. As a senior this seems to be the easiest yet the most hardest year.”

In comparison Junior Anastasia Ortiz, replied, “ I don’t think being online will impact my education as much as being at school in person. The only thing it will impact I believe is my grades.”

Ortiz found getting through the first day involved lots of communication.  She said, “It’s frustrating being online. I don’t know how to access a lot of things so I have to keep emailing teachers, and asking friends how to do something. I don’t like that because I feel like it’s kind of putting me behind.

There was one notable glitch when the “conference” tab became error-prone during sixth period.  Schoology continued to work, but teachers could not video conference with their students.  

Classes are only 30 minutes long. It will be hard to get in all the information in one class setting through direct instruction.  As a result, teachers will also have many options outside this 30 minute class. It could be Khan Academy, YouTube videos, and even google classroom activities.  This is intentional, as the learning set up by the school district is meant to be self-directed, with teachers as supporters.  Paulson stated, “Thirty minutes is a good number for now. I feel there were a lot of questions today but moving forward, I likely won’t need 30 minutes to conference each day.” 

By staying home and learning at home, many of the people will be safe from the coronavirus. Ortiz said the hassle is worth it. “I think it’s a positive thing we are not going back to school. Although a lot of people are upset about it. In the end it’s better to stay home than catch this virus.”