Students and Staff Adjusting to Online Instruction

Beachwood's online learning program consists of 15-20 hours per week of instruction and assignments on Google Classroom.

Vectors Point, PK via thenounproject

Beachwood’s online learning program consists of 15-20 hours per week of instruction and assignments on Google Classroom.

Due to the spread of Covid-19, school buildings across the country have been shut down, and educators have been forced to switch to online instruction. 

Beachwood’s online learning program began on March 30, just after spring break. The program consists of 15-20 hours per week of assignments on Google classroom, according to a BHS e-newsletter from March 27. 

Teachers are posting new content on Mondays and holding office hours via Google Meet. 

“Students, it’s very important that you create routines for yourself,” Principal Paul Chase said in a video that went out with the enews. “You should be pacing yourself and doing three to four hours of work each day.” 

Teachers had to switch to online instruction quickly, and many students feel that teachers are adjusting instruction effectively. 

Senior Gabe Stern has found his teachers to be accessible.

“My teachers are handling the switch well, so it’s been easy to learn the [material],” he said.

Seniors Dylan Cira and Ryo Okamoto agree.

“I think the teachers are doing a good job, and I know it is probably just as hard for them to adjust as it is for us,” Cira said. “Everyone is new to this, and we have to give each other time to get the hang of things.”

Everyone is new to this, and we have to give each other time to get the hang of things.”

— Senior Dylan Cira

“I feel like teachers have been handling the change pretty well,” Okamoto added.

Junior Sabrina Fadel appreciates all the assistance teachers have been offering to students in need.

“They have constantly been there to help us, no matter for school-related purposes or just to offer their support and lend a listening ear,” she wrote in an email. “Diligently altering lesson plans, recording thorough YouTube video lectures, hosting office hours and sending countless emails to help guide us through any problems that might arise, as well as so many other tasks to smoothen our transition.”

In the second week of online instruction, some students have found online learning easy to adjust to while others have found it difficult to navigate.

Stern finds the switch to online school a bit challenging.

Online school is very silly because it’s hard to stay focused,” he said. “The drive is not there to complete the work or at least do it well. It’s awfully hard to focus at home.”

Cira has also had a hard time focusing.

“There are very limited times you can talk to teachers and communicate with them if you are having trouble,” he said. “It is very hard for me to focus, especially with everything going on in the world.”

“Everything is so weird right now, but I’m trying to get used to making myself focus since we might have to do this longer than we thought,” he added.

Okamoto also finds the switch challenging. 

“I don’t like online school at all,” he said. “It’s been stressful because it can easily mess up my sleep schedule, and I’m not good with technology.”

“It’s very hard to focus at home because I have two younger siblings, and I kind of miss the classroom environment,” he added. “I try to focus by listening to music and organizing by tabs on the computer.”

Some students have felt the disadvantages of learning outside the classroom.

“Distance learning is a complete 180 from our traditional classes at the high school,” Fadel wrote. “I’ve come to realize that being able to physically experience the lesson in the classroom is far more advantageous than through online learning.” 

“I know that we, as students, learn [better] through demonstrations, labs, classroom discussions and on-the-spot questions,” she added. “So to have that all modified through distance learning has been unlike anything that we’ve experienced before.”

I manage to get all my work done mainly because there simply is nothing else to do. [The change] wasn’t that difficult; it was just weird… This mainly feels like no school but with homework every day.”

— Junior Emily Fan

Junior Emily Fan has adjusted fairly well to online instruction.

“I manage to get all my work done mainly because there simply is nothing else to do,” she said. “[The change] wasn’t that difficult; it was just weird… This mainly feels like no school but with homework every day.”

Fan believes the most drastic difference is the absence of tests and quizzes.

“I think this approach makes the most sense since if there is no face-to-face instruction, it is difficult to fairly give an exam,” she said.

Both Fadel and Fan have found week two of online instruction easier to manage than week one.

“Of course, it’s still a massive transition, and there will always be certain obstacles, but I believe that as time goes by, we students will become more accustomed to this new format because it is the only means available to us right now,” Fadel wrote.

“I just have to remember to keep track of everything, especially since it’s very easy to forget a class and have the assignments pile up,” Fan added.

Chase emphasizes that students need to take the online learning seriously.

“As we see from the news, we could be doing this for the rest of the school year,” he said in his online message. “So it is important to understand that what we’re doing now is probably going to make up a major component of your grade for the fourth quarter.” 

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