Online learning places unnecessary strain on student mental health


Photo by Hannah Conn '23

Students face long hours of school work to complete assignments on time, some times having to do more than four classes a day to reach the due date in time.

As Staples students and staff transitioned fully into online classes and schoolwork, we were sent a newsletter. The new A/B day schedule was implemented to help us balance our work between two days instead of having eight classes a day. This schedule, however, has proven to be just as hard to keep up with. While classes end at 12:15 pm each day, I, and many peers, have spent upwards of three hours on classwork, on top of the four 50-minute periods of classwork. 

Even with the A/B schedule, some teachers are assigning their students work every day, requiring numerous tasks daily and even posting work due over the weekend. I, personally, am feeling overwhelmed by the sudden change in workload. 

Even when we were in school prior to quarantine, there was never this level of work required of us students. At the same time, we are facing the challenge of learning without teacher guidance and instruction. I have only had one class that consistently holds teacher conferences, , so it’s not surprising for there to be a change in students’ attitudes about school as we all struggle to keep up with Staples’ rigorous demands while trying to adapt to new learning methods. 

Students are faced with the mental challenges of living under quarantine. This is an extremely stressful time for students and our families. Fear of COVID-19, loss of normalcy and family difficulties are just a few examples of the things we students are dealing with on top of school. There seems to be little recognition of this by Staples. 

All of these issues can actually be addressed to improve student academic performance and stress. First, teachers need to adhere to the A/B schedule as it relates to work assignments and provide more realistic due dates for assignments. To help students adjust to new learning methods, teachers should fully utilize Schoology Conferences, Google Hangouts or other methods of video chat for each class. Finally, Staples’ administration needs to acknowledge that students need time away from school to deal with quarantine. While we lost spring break, we’ve certainly earned days off to help us decompress.  

This is hard for everyone, students and staff included. “Normalcy” is still some time away. It is the school’s responsibility to tend to its students, regardless of the situation we find ourselves in, and should adjust policies now to ensure students achieve academic and personal growth during this crisis. This is far from over, but perhaps a change would help us all deal a bit better as we continue throughout quarantine.