The Covid Conundrum

Caleb Miller, Editor-in-Chief

I remember when I enjoyed having classes without commuting to school, working remotely all day. However, the circumstances I had to deal with these past few weeks quickly changed my mind. A little bit ago I contracted COVID-19, so I was quarantined, which left me with one of the worst educational experiences I’ve had in a long time.

As someone who’d been considered an “honor student” grades-wise, keeping said grades good is an important part of my education. However, doing so would be nearly impossible if what I did in quarantine extended past one week. Attendance was one of the first issues I had to deal with. I have three performing arts classes, and all of them had issues that didn’t allow me to attend properly. For someone in a similar situation as me, I can’t imagine the experience being very tolerable for any longer than a couple of days. Not being able to be in the classes which you picked as something to enjoy is painful, and near infuriating.

While the situation was unavoidable, it still wasn’t good. Working with your class on WebEx might seem like the best choice, but I found it challenging to the point of impracticality. Instead of making students work against the grain with awkward half-measures, it would be much more effective to have them work independently, or perhaps just check into class and go. With this, they would have to have the responsibility to keep up with their assignments and get them in on time. This would be the most difficult part of this type of system, as having strong communication during quarantine is very hard. Having the ability to work at your own pace is a major benefit only quarantine can give, so leaning into that benefit for those students who can’t come to school would make them much more successful.

This situation often leaves teachers in an uncomfortable position as well. Keeping track of when students need to be online only adds to their already large workload, leading them to forget, or not be able to get them in on time. Not only that, but having a student online can lead to an awkward experience when the teachers attempt to connect with them and ask questions. Not only is there a delay and the student isn’t there in the class, but the teacher has an entire in-person class to handle. One of a teacher’s main jobs is to help their students, and having one student be much harder to reach and assist than the rest leads to complications.

Some of the worst feelings a student can have are feeling isolated and overwhelmed, and the current solution that the school has implemented for students who have contracted COVID-19 forces students under those conditions while they’re dealing with the symptoms that come with the virus. Working with students in these situations in a way that best fits their circumstances (instead of simply putting them in a WebEx meeting) will serve to improve their quality of education overall.