Remote Learning Isn’t Fun

Henry Gates, Staff Writer

Do you think it’s easy to learn while on Zoom? Do you think it’s easy to teach while on Zoom? The changes made for this school year have been drastic, and the full effects on classes are still not completely known. What are the biggest challenges for students and teachers with this new system, and how do teachers keep their students interested in advancing their knowledge?

When asked about his experience with remote learning, SHS junior Clay Belmarsh said he hasn’t “been able to stay focused for a long time while at home.” Belmarsh elaborated by explaining that he doesn’t seem to get the full attention of his teachers, and it’s hard for him to absorb all the information that’s being put out. Belmarsh explained, “It’s not exactly the teacher’s fault because this is new to them, too.” Belmarsh said he doesn’t “get enough time to learn all the material being taught or to ask questions.”  Stressing that many of his peers have similar challenges with remote learning, he thinks some changes need to be made to help students improve their educational experience this year.

Commenting on his in-class experience, Belmarsh said this school year “isn’t as fun as last year.” Feeling less passionate about his favorite subject, which is English, Belmarsh lamented, “I don’t enjoy my time in school, and I find it harder to pay attention while I’m in class.”

SHS English teacher Kate Harwood typically runs exciting and engaging classes. When asked about the changes from last year, Harwood said, “There was an activity we used to do where classmates would hold hands to represent a character and their qualities in a story.” Of course, this year, this activity, as well as many other activities, are no longer able to happen. According to Harwood, these are the kind of things that “affects the engagement of students negatively.” 

SHS junior Sydney Washburn is a hardworking student who has felt the effects of the new school year’s changes. Although she sees the pros and cons of hybrid learning, when asked about how she is staying invested in her education this year, Washburn said, “It is pretty tough to stay focused while I’m learning at home. Sometimes it feels like I’m mixing school with my personal life, which can be conflicting and make the school day a lot harder at home. I also find it harder to get all of my work done when I don’t have to physically be accountable for it and there is nobody supervising me to keep me on track or help me when I need it.” Washburn added, “Even though learning is more difficult this year, school is easier in general. I usually have more time to get my work done than I normally would, and I love having no school on Wednesdays.” 

There are clearly positives and negatives for students this year, but overall, the majority of students have decided it is a lot harder to stay engaged, and they’re having a lot less fun in school than they did during previous years. As for teachers, they see a decrease in engagement and positivity from their students. This is disappointing to hear for everyone because students should enjoy learning and improving themselves.