Firm academic response needs to stop during pandemic

Jonah Rangel, Editorialist

COVID-19 has brought a whirlwind of issues, impacting many people’s lives, and has disrupted many things yet schools are still being excessive. Each school differs from one another however they are taking similar approaches to preserve the school year. Here at Greeley West students have a hybrid schedule system, but recently West has now resorted to remote learning until early January. I appreciate all the people and teachers working to keep schools progressing  however it’s just not the same.

Classes feel like they’re in a jumble. Students’ schedules may not be the way they expected or needed them to be. The cohort system has stirred up our classes to try and keep students in minimal contact with others. This has forced us in classes that we didn’t choose so we can fit the cohort system and then we are expected to do well in these courses. Although we can change or drop the course our options are very limited and cut down. This leads to a problem when we aren’t put in classes which have the credits needed to graduate.

E-learning is a struggle when you’re home with many distractions and less accountability and for some a not so great learning-environment. Don’t get me wrong, being home for online classes has its perks but with online learning there can be many issues as usual technical difficulties occur, and without in-person reminders workload can be hard to balance and organize. In addition, teacher support is less flexible, as communication can only occur through email or a set time during office hours. This doesn’t even account for the more severe struggles many are facing during this time.

Morale is at an all time low as there is a lot going on in the world. To add on top of our workload there are real world issues going on. With COVID-19 measures and our new secluded lifestyle it can be hard to not feel alone. The situation can be overwhelming, increasing stress and anxiety and can make things worse for people with mental health conditions. Economic and food insecurities are some other things families are facing.

Further physical and emotional distress is caused to those or those whose loved ones have been affected by the disease. In extreme circumstances some students have an unsafe or unstable home situation, which can negatively impact their learning. In addition the little recognition for the different situations students now deal with, makes life extremely difficult for some.

Despite these changes, many are still held to high academic standards as before the pandemic. Most teachers are still grading at the same levels they previously were and can be inflexible with deadlines. The firm academic response needs to stop. We all need to realize that many are struggling during this time and school isn’t the only thing going on for some, and many have to deal with other stressors not related to school.

The answer is a more content-based learning  opposed to focusing on the workload needed to be done with the minimal time in schools that we have. Lowering standards, as students’ mental health and well being should be prioritized above academic achievement. Otherwise, students will resume to slowly fall apart and fail to hold up to the intense expectations forced upon them as of now.  Teachers going over practice in class and stressing students retaining the content would help to make sure students know what they’re doing.  The situation isn’t easy for anyone and we should all continue to do our part to keep ourselves and our community safe.