Is the Workload During Distance Learning too Heavy?

Is the Workload During Distance Learning too Heavy?

Daniel Barrientos, Copy Editor

Historically, The Columbus School has always helped students become lazy. First they implemented the IEs, which allowed students to recoup assignments even if they never completed them, then the “40s,” which stated that the minimum grade was no longer a zero, but a forty. Both of these helped students pass classes even if they didn’t complete a lot of the assigned work. Then they created formatives, which meant that students could skip most of the work they did in class and focus only on a few summative assignments. I mean, it’s funny how a school that  vows for responsibility and creating “great” students would implement all of these measures, which at the end of the day only make us more irresponsible. Now, thanks to the coronavirus and the quarantine, the school implemented Distance Learning (D L). Students only have one  hour of class per day (max) and yet complain that it’s “too much work.” This is a clear example of the types of students TCS has created: lazy, lethargic, and unadaptable people. 

Before the quarantine began, we had six classes each day. On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, each one of these classes was one hour long. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, classes were 50 minutes long. This means that on average, on a regular 5-day  week, we had 5.6 hours of class each day. We also had window and lunch, which, together, were one hour and 20 minutes long. When you eat at your house it doesn’t take that long. Also, the time that it took students to arrive at school adds up, especially with traffic in Las Palmas. If it took me 30 minutes to arrive at school and then another 30 minutes to go back home, it would be another hour wasted just in traffic. Apart from all of this, teachers constantly sent students homework, which would take approximately 40 minutes per day. If you add all of this up, on a normal day we would spend about nine hours on school-related things.

During Distance Learning we have a Mentorship, scheduled for 15 minutes, and then one or two  classes which last approximately 30 minutes. Also, teachers assign students “outside work” which normally doesn’t take longer than one hour to complete. The work that we’re getting assigned isn’t a massive final project or exam. We’re getting assignments that are relatively easy, and if they aren’t, teachers give us a couple of days to complete them. Thus, if you add all of this up, we have about two hours and 15 minutes of class each day.

I truly can’t understand why people would complain about the workload. Distance Learning isn’t even similar to face-to-face classes in terms of work. If you compare the nine hours per day that we had before, to the two hours and 15 minutes that we have now, it’s a 75% decrease. But the problem is not in the amount of work that is being assigned to us, it’s in the mindset and habits that students have built throughout all of these years. If they truly sat down for two  hours each day and actually worked, they would probably finish most of  their assignments and realize that they’re not that hard. Unfortunately, most people don’t do this, and instead decide to do everything a couple of hours before it’s due. I guess that’s when they start to feel overwhelmed. Sofia Nuñez, 12th grade student, said the following: “I believe that the workload during school was extremely heavier than what it is today. We have classes that are at a maximum 30 minutes long and that’s a really short amount of time. Teachers are not sending out that much work because they know that there’s some things that we can’t necessarily do without them. They’re being really comprehensive, so I think that the workload is not heavy at all.”

Some students may argue that during this time of crisis they are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, but this argument is obsolete. I mean, it’s been about 40 days since the quarantine began and if you haven’t been able to adapt and accept the new reality, then something is wrong with you. Also, a lot of people have been saying that they’re dealing with college applications and important decisions right now. Well, this is a valid point, but if we were still at school they wouldn’t lower the workload just because some people are struggling to decide what they want to do with their future. According to a survey performed by the New York Times, many students are actually quite fond of distance learning. “With the new shift to online schooling, I feel like an adult working from home. I get to organize my work schedule so that it works best for me, and I get to complete all of my work from the comfort of my own room,” Tracey Niles, student at Dawson High School, said. This is absolutely true. Not only can you manage your time more responsibly but the workload is minimal, and if you’re struggling to finish your assignments, you have to reevaluate your studying habits and find a way to be more effective. Even when dealing with college and other outside issues. 

We truly have to evaluate the way the school handles responsibility. As I mentioned before, every measure that the school has implemented in the past couple of years has only made us more irresponsible. All of these dreadful studying habits that students have developed will be extremely damaging in college or at work. We’re used to handing everything late, having chances to recoup, and having a light workload. During this quarantine we have the chance to start developing new, responsible habits which could actually benefit us in the future. If you believe that the workload has been heavy over the past couple of weeks, use this time to look into time management strategies and ways to come out as a winner. Don’t miss the opportunity.