Conquering online school

What my life looks like after Covid-19 closed my school.



PAINTING DURING QUARANTINE. After one week of online school, feature chief Charlotte has found comfort in painting when she has off time from classes.

   AMIDST THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK, Governor Mike DeWine decided to close all Ohio schools for three weeks. Although we are still scheduled to return to school on April 6, that time may be extended considering the state of Ohio is currently sheltered in place.
   After one week of Spring Break, Sycamore Community Schools began a two week period of online schooling for grades 5-12. Instead of oline schooling for students grades K-4, their teachers opted to send packets of work to keep them busy throughout the two weeks of school closure.
   During Spring break, teachers worked hard to create lesson plans and ensure that all work was accessible to students. This was especially vital for AP courses since AP tests were still scheduled for the same time. After the first few days of online school for Sycamore, AP tests were altered for the current situation to maintain the safety of students.
   After five days of online school, I have created a schedule that allows me to work effectively, but has also illustrated to me where this style of learning does not work for me.
   I try to stick to the same schedule every day, but it does depend on the amount of work I have.
   Every morning I wake up at 7:35 a.m. to attend my 8:15 a.m. class for chemistry. Most of my teachers have recorded their classes and offered their students to choose to watch their lectures later. For around 48 minutes I learn chemistry on Google Hangouts, a video chat program similar to Zoom, which most colleges and universities have switched to.
   Throughout the week, most teachers have tried out different video chat programs to find the one that works best for their classes or see which program students like best.
    After my chemistry class at around 9 a.m., I go upstairs from my workspace in the basement of my house to get breakfast and coffee. Most days I have the whole morning to work on all of my other classes.
   Some teachers including my English and AP European History teachers assign work most days and only about once a week have a video chat to go over the work or check in on us.
   On the other hand, some teachers offer office hours where you can ask them questions about the work, such as my Algebra 2 teacher. This is not mandatory but can be helpful if someone is confused.
   Most days I have a French class, held usually on Google Hangouts. Most teachers that chose to do video chats during class time continue their teaching in their traditional style.
   Most days I can finish my work by around 5 p.m., since the time during class is not always spent on a video call and instead work is assigned that is due at the end of the week.
    This way of learning requires students to be very self-motivated and it can be difficult to stay on task unless you have discipline. I probably have not been the most productive I can be this past week, but it has definitely been a learning process for me, and also my friends.
    I imagine that this way of learning and extended deadlines is similar to the Synnovation Lab, the project-based learning at Sycamore High School. While most classes in the Synnovation Lab require projects, some classes, like math, are taught by online videos and problems.
   Although it has been nice to work from 8-5, it is also stressful considering I have more work left in every class, but it is not due tomorrow.       During this time of sheltering in place, I have been able to spend more time with my family and enjoy time with them instead of being swamped by schoolwork 24/7.
   I have also been able to focus on some other hobbies including working on an intricate paint by number than I have worked on almost every day to de-stress. Although this time is a result of a horrible virus, it has also given me time to learn more about myself and what I would do locked in my house all day without mountains of work to do every day.
   Most teachers have given moderate workloads to let everyone become acclimated to the new way of learning. But, most assignments in class have a strict deadline that requires planning in order to finish the work on time.
   After one week on online learning, I can sincerely say that I miss school and interacting with my friends and even teachers. Yes, you heard that right. I miss school. But I do not miss waking up at 6:30 a.m. or not being able to wear sweatpants every day.
   While I hope we can go back to school this year, I also want everyone to be safe and able to return to school without a threat of Covid-19.