Distance Learning Challenges TCS Students


Maria Hines

Esteban Botero studying for his AP human geography online class.

Maria Hinestroza, Discoverer Staff Writer

Despite the difficulties with concentration, lack of motivation, and understanding, High School students have developed different life skills during the first distance learning semester. 

The past 18 weeks have been an adaptation process in which teachers’ absence has led students to develop independence and time management skills,  fundamental for academic success.

‘It’s tough for me to focus if there’s no voice of authority having me stay on track,” Maria Echeverri, Grade 9, said. 

Students must stay focused on academic matters for at least six hours per day with the current online school schedule.

“Being at home is a different environment. It’s very easy to look at your phone or open another tab,” Maria Isabel Tavera, Grade 10, said. “Sometimes your mom calls you, and teachers, or even ourselves, don’t take those distractions into account.”

Visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learning styles require adaptations to understand academic content in this new way. Understanding and applying these accommodations has been a challenge for teachers to engage students in a class.   

When we went to school, I preferred reading better than watching videos, but now I like the videos instead of the reading in this online school era. These accommodations make everything better, and even though [teachers] try their best, it’s hard for them to know what students need,” Tavera said.  

The current isolation has left no authority, encouraging students to be self-aware and focus on personal growth to understand academic content.

 “As much as I like to work in groups, I think that working alone has become very important actually to learn and absorb the information,” Tavera said. 

The Pomodoro Method, dividing time into 25 minutes working and 5 minute breaks, has helped students who have struggled with time management and productivity. 

 “To organize my time, I have found different methods useful, such as the Pomodoro Method, which helps me divide my time and saves a lot of wasted time that can be used to finish schoolwork.” Barbara Correa, Grade 10, said.

Regardless of the situation’s uncertainty, students will continue to use this time to learn how to learn. 

“Everything in life is just about adapting, but it’s kind of hard to believe that we are just not coming back to school. I don’t know if I will be an 11th grader in an online school,” Tavera said.