Change is Quickly Approaching

Staff member, Grace Logan, shares her opinions of full time learning model

Grace Logan

The SMSD announcement that discussed plans of moving into hybrid for the third quarter were met with anxiety and dread on my part. I have finally developed a schedule and become comfortable with online learning. Knowing that I would be in completely different classes with new people added to the stress of this whole situation. Change is always scary, but it feels especially worse when it is affecting such a major part of my life. 

I have been struggling to balance all my schoolwork, and lack motivation to complete work assigned to me on my asynchronous days. To no one’s surprise I ended up putting myself in a rather deep hole. I know that eventually I will regain some of my energy and excitement that was once tied to school, but for the time being I’m just trying to survive. 

In my opinion full time learning is an entirely different beast compared to the hybrid and online learning modes.

— Grace Logan

With the pandemic so abruptly overtaking the world, it seemed completely understandable that schools would be shut down for a certain period of time. However the only problem is that this had an immense effect on the schedule for the following year. For example our finals got pushed back until after winter break – as the student body is so painfully aware of. There is obviously nothing the district could have done to change this, but it gave me no recuperation time between semesters. What made it worse was that the next week we would be returning to hybrid. 

It is nice to occasionally see my teachers, especially if I’m struggling with a certain subject, we receive more time to discuss questions with them than in the online learning mode. Only seeing my teachers twice a week just isn’t enough time. 

Don’t get me wrong, I did struggle with online learning too. It was so easy to just tune out the lesson and scroll through Instagram or watch “Bridgerton.”

Whatever decision the district makes is in our best interest. It would be an impossible decision to determine which learning mode would help students the most and for that I can respect whatever they decide. It is extremely difficult for me to maintain healthy habits when I’m being flung back and forth from learning modes.  

The idea of SMSD returning to a full time learning mode has also been thrown around. Other surrounding districts have and/or are planning to do the same. In fact, De Soto recently returned to full time. 

In my opinion full time learning is an entirely different beast compared to the hybrid and online learning modes. It would be impossible for all classes to maintain proper social distancing guidelines and the lunchroom would become a breeding ground for COVID-19. 

I might just be buying trouble considering no formal decision has been made at this time, but the risk of a Covid-19 breakout seems to outweigh the academic benefits that come with returning to full time. 

The district has just now begun to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to teachers who opted to take it. I don’t expect the district to wait for the vaccine to become available to the general public, but it seems slightly gungho to send us back before teachers have received the vaccine. 

I’m sure the district will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 statistics and make the best decision possible. It is clear that they acknowledge that students are struggling and there needs to be a quick solution. My only hope is that any decision made will also prioritize our safety as well as our academic success.