Reagan Smith: Virtual learning harder than it seems

Reagan Smith

Every morning I wake up, get ready for a day of sitting in front of a screen, and then log into my first virtual class of the day.

I typically spend at least four hours a day during the work week staring at a bright computer screen until my eyes start to  cross  and I have to quit.

I feel guilty most of the time because I am so aware of all the assignments I could be doing instead of walking the dogs or reading a book.

Soon enough my day is over and I wake up and do it all over again.

Some days are easier than others in terms of motivation. There are days when all you can find the drive to do is one assignment before you feel so tired that you just quit.

On others you may be determined to get no less than five assignments done and then you just keep going.

I have just accepted that there are days when you can’t make yourself do everything all at once and that’s okay.

I’ve talked with various GRC students on how they are finding the motivation to do their work and most of them just aren’t.

Procrastination is such a huge issue simply because students have so many distractions and with everything happening around them there is so much else they could be doing besides their work.

I have come to find that I dread the time when Monday comes around and  I have to open my Chromebook and see, what seems to be, a never ending list of new work all due before the next Monday.

You get through what seems to be most of the work for the week and then more work is assigned right when you think you are almost through it.

The stress from the pressure of it all can very quickly get to be too much.

Some students are handling the stress better than others, but it has been a major problem for students across the board.

The mountain of work that many students are facing, mostly on their own, due to the fact that students are typically too nervous to ask for help across a computer, results in a constant weight on the chests of our students.

The lack of structure that comes with a typical in-person school day is something that I think we all took for granted before.

Now with how we structure being up to ourselves it can be pretty hard to keep ourselves on track. It is much easier to get behind with online work because we don’t have our teachers right there with us to make sure we get through everything.

That structure is something,  it seems, many have come to miss and appreciate.

I, and plenty of  others, have come to realize that virtual school is much harder than any of us first anticipated.

After these months of online school, I now recognize how important in-person school is for many.

A lot of GRC students  are feeling more alone now than ever and it is really affecting the overall mental health of our students.

I believe we seriously have to take into consideration how much longer some can stand the isolation before it gets to be too much.

The constant back-and-forth of what the plan is with virtual and in-person is not helping anyone. That instability results in too much worry from our students and staff.

I strongly advocate for in-person education at this time, but the fact is a decision needs to be made and it needs to stick, whatever it may be, for the well-being of our community.

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