Online School or Online Prison?

November 16, 2020

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Students have been complaining since the start of the school year about the extremely difficult workload that has come with online school. Since the start of the pandemic schools have been trying to figure out a way to effectively teach with being safe. Online schooling became one of the only options available. The school has been trying to adapt as much as possible but there are always complications. They range from poor internet to students not doing their work. Although there comes a time where the workload becomes questionable. How long should students be spending on electronics a day and how does the workload affect their mental health? 

A majority of our school population participates in other activities outside and inside of school. Some of these activities include working, sports, music, household responsibilities, and sometimes all four. With in-person school doing these things were already hectic but now it has become a juggling act. “I feel like with online work teachers think we have all day to do this homework they assign or they move at a fast pace,” senior Ciara Garcia says. She continues, “I think teachers should take more pride in our time that we have when some of us are struggling due to being online because they aren’t getting the help they need.” The increasingly frustrated senior embodies most of the students at Pottsgrove painting a picture of annoyance. 

What is the school doing to help the students get through this difficult time? Some resources have opened up but it is not the same as in person. The National Honor Society has come up with peer tutoring run by Mrs. Compton. Although this may not be as effective over a zoom call because of the amount of distractions in your own home. As for the students mental health the schools guidance counselors email is always open. But the underlying question is, will students reach out if needed? When asked if they would reach out to the guidance counselor via email if their mental health got bad, senior Gianna Deflice had a short answer of “no.” It was already an uncomfortable experience before in person but now, quoted from senior Lacey Irvin, “It feels like the faculty is a robot.” She is referring to the screen making the encounters feel almost inhuman. 

When asked about what the biggest issue of online school is and how they would reform it the answers were very unanimous and clear. The students want the work and stress to go down and the little freetime they have to go up. The claims of how terrible the extreme amounts of work rolled in. The workload is making the students anxious and exceedingly overwhelmed. “I’m not sitting at my desk for 8 hours just to sit there longer with work,” Giana Deflice says. The workload is overwhelming the students and they are feeling that the 11:59 pm submission deadline is comparable to a prison sentence. They are no longer learning at this point but instead trying to reach the deadline no matter what.

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