Now that we are halfway through the first marking period, the students and teachers at NPHS probably have a more solid idea of how they feel about the COVID adjustments. A question that has probably sparked curiosity for a while is how people feel with the new hybrid schedule.
“I like learning in school better because it’s nice to interact with my peers in person,” said one NPHS senior. “I also find it easier to pay attention, because there are not as many distractions as there are at home.”
This opinion seems to be a common one among NPHS students and teachers. It seems that most people are enjoying the social interaction and the more focused work environment that they get on in-school days. This makes sense when you put into account how long we were all in quarantine. Plus, a lot would agree that it is very hard to focus on schoolwork during the remote days, when there are so many distractions at home.
When asked about how the student understanding of lessons is affected by being at home, ninth grade language arts teacher Melissa Hatfield said: “I realize that there could definitely be more distractions so I think there’s more put on students in terms of either getting rid of those distractions or for students to focus themselves.”
At home, students have to keep themselves focused, and the stakes are high. When learning virtually, if a student gets distracted, they can miss important information such as a due date for a paper, or the date of a test.
“I think school is slightly more difficult to handle this year because everything is online,” said Jasmine Miller, a freshman student. “It can be difficult to remember all the assignments and submit them all when they are on the iPad.”
When the intense reliance on technology hit along with the reopening of schools, it became difficult for some students to stay on top of their schoolwork. This can be expected considering literally everything is turned in on Google Classroom. For math, if you have work written on scrap paper for a test, you have to physically take a picture and attach it in order to turn it in. The same goes for students who prefer to take physical notes. For the assignments that are sent to Notability, it still takes a bit of time to upload them to Google Classroom. In all of the hassle it takes to upload all of your classes’ homework for the night, sometimes one or two assignments might slip through the cracks.
Another part of the hybrid schedule that comes in for some criticism is the afternoon. Each class gets one extra zoom session a week, and it the consensus seems to be that it doesn’t make sense to only do half a lesson in class and half a lesson in zoom, especially if a teacher teaches different periods of the same class. Instead, the zoom is often used to add extra assignments or just give extra time to do work. Instead of appreciating the extra time, many students find the zooms ineffective.
“I don’t like the afternoon zooms,” said Miller. “I think that they aren’t very beneficial to learning because a lot of teachers don’t know what to do with the time. But otherwise I like the schedule.”
All in all, however, everyone seem to like the social interaction that is involved with going back to school, and despite the numerous inevitable adjustments that were put in place due to COVID-19, it seems like teachers and students are making the most of it.
“Overall I’ve been pleased so far,” said Hatfield. “It’s definitely different, but I do think things are going well.”