Quarantine workload: LARGE

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During these unprecedented times, there have been many changes to all aspects of life. One of the biggest changes for high schoolers is distance learning. Personally, I think the administration could have made smoother and less radical changes to the way we learn.

Back before the coronavirus, I typically had relatively low amounts of homework, aside from studying for tests. Now that we are at home, the only thing we have is busywork. I spend over two hours a day on many of my classes and am constantly behind and trying to catch up. No matter how much work I do, it feels like it keeps on piling up. Before, all I had to do was take notes during 45-minute lessons, and I rarely had homework in a lot of my classes. If I did have busy work, it was never heavily weighted. For example, last semester, I got an A in math with a 45 percent homework grade. Now, I have two small missing assignments in history, and I’ve been marked incomplete in that course, meaning that at the moment, I would have to take summer school and retake the semester to make up for these minor assignments.

Also, distance learning has made improving grades extremely difficult. I have an 89.17 in math class currently, and to get my grade up to an 89.5 for an A, I have to complete an 85 question review packet with everything we’ve learned this semester. This is just so I can get an “Improved” in the grade book. Before, I could have gotten that up with one quiz. In my opinion, the “Improved, Sustained, Incomplete” system is way too broad. Getting a “Sustained” in my classes has been hard enough for me with the giant workload, and now I have to go above and beyond just to gain 0.33 percent.

I think instead of having our “attendance” be the completion of work, there should be zoom lessons with teachers where they take attendance and see students actively taking notes. I don’t think it’s fair that if you don’t complete all of your work, it’s basically interpreted as having not learned. Most of the work is very repetitive and I could come away with the same understanding if I did a quarter of the work.

School is not just busywork. School is for learning. We don’t sit at school with our heads down doing pages of work all day. We learn through lessons, labs, and instruction. Just because we’re at home doesn’t mean we can’t do the same.