Many Students Struggle with Remote Learning

Distractions+at+home+and+the+lack+of+structure+and+interaction+with+teachers+has+led+to+a+lack+of+motivation+among+many+TAHS+students.

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Distractions at home and the lack of structure and interaction with teachers has led to a lack of motivation among many TAHS students.

Many students thrust into online education have been falling behind, lack motivation to do school work, and are struggling to manage their time in this new environment.

Since the school abruptly went cyber in April there has been a drastic increase in the number of TAHS students with missing assignments and failing grades. Teachers have been trying to reach out to their students to get them back on track, but many still are not completing the assigned work.

“In my 15 years of teaching, I’ve never had this many students failing. As of now, about 40% of my students are failing the fourth marking period, and it’s not because they’re not capable of the work,” said TAHS senior English teacher Kathy Beigle.

In my 15 years of teaching, I’ve never had this many students failing. As of now, about 40% of my students are failing the fourth marking period, and it’s not because they’re not capable of the work”

— TAHS teacher Kathy Beigle

Student report that they are struggling to find the motivation to do their school work during this pandemic. There is a lack of focus that comes from not having the structure provided by in-person classes.

“I think most of it is because they don’t have guidance, support, and the structure they’re accustomed to at school,” said Beigle.

Social Studies teacher Todd Cammarata has also seen a big increase in the number of students not completing their work.

“Those who are putting forth effort are doing just fine. But there are a surprising number of students who seem to have checked out. I understand their frustration but the result is they are really hurting their GPA,” said Cammarata.

The students generally seem to agree with these assessments.

“I do lack motivation with so many other distractions around me,” said Tyrone senior Noah Zimmerman. “It’s harder to keep up with work when there are other things I am doing. At school, I can focus because there is no other alternative to what I can do.”

Some TAHS students have also found themselves with a shortage of time due to part-time jobs. Many businesses that are open are in need of help right now, so teens have been picking up extra hours.

“I usually try to do all my school work before I go to work, but sometimes I don’t feel like it. When that happens, I find myself staying up very late, even until 5:00 A.M. Unfortunately, I don’t really manage my time, I just make sure my assignments get done,” said Tyrone senior Jadyn Waite.

The students who seem to be doing the best academically during the shutdown are those who make their schoolwork a priority.

“I usually do my schoolwork by taking it one day at a time. I mostly just do it in the morning, before anything else,” said senior class president Brent McNeel.

I do lack motivation with so many other distractions around me. It’s harder to keep up with work when there are other things I am doing. At school, I can focus because there is no other alternative to what I can do”

— Senior Noah Zimmerman

While few students or teachers think online education is ideal, TAHS math teacher Chris Shedd thinks students should get used to it because it’s possible they will find themselves in this situation again in the fall.

“This is likely to happen again at least once before we have a vaccine. Use this time to develop the habits you will need to succeed in the future. Do the best you can and try to improve the quality of your work each day,” said Shedd.

In order to be more successful learning at home online, there are a few simple things that students can do.

First, create a dedicated work space with minimal distractions. A desk or table is much better than a bed or the floor. This will help you to stay focused and on task at a more efficient rate. If you don’t like quiet environments, turn on some music.

Second, create a schedule that you can follow on a daily basis. The lack of structure is probably the biggest change that some students are having a difficult time with.

At the beginning of the week, write down all the assignments that are due that week. You can even organize your assignments in order of due date so that you avoid turning them in late. Then, set aside time to focus on schoolwork, preferable during regular school hours.

Third, make sure to reward yourself. If you complete all of your assignments for the day or week, do something nice for yourself.

But above all, make sure to take your education seriously, says Tyrone chemistry teacher Michael Funicelli.

“Education should never take a back seat… no matter the circumstances. Students should strive to learn something new every day, whether it is required or not. Every lesson, assignment, and assessment is posted for a reason and although our current situation is not ideal, it is reality,” said Funicelli.