Redlands students work to stay productive in their distance learning

By LILIAN MOHR & MIA DELMONICO

As millions of high school students across the world enter into a new phase of education during the pandemic that is solely reliant on distant learning, obvious struggles begin to arise as organization flies out the window. Productivity seems more impossible than ever when students have now been given the option to do all their school work in their pajamas and in bed. 

Some students may thrive under a more loosely structured education. For example, those who personally decide to transition into homeschooling or online learning. However, any high schoolers that have been going to school five days a week and eight hours a day since they were five or six; struggle without the schedule and structure that attending school provides. 

Redlands Unified School district has been out of school since March 13 and began distance learning on April 13. This means that by this point, all students within the district  have had at least one week of attempting to find a way to learn from their homes. While some have had even longer, as many Advanced Placement courses began reviewing for their modified exams once spring break concluded. 

Now that the “trial period” of distance learning has been completed, many teachers and students have settled into a schedule and figured out what is going to work for them.

Skylar Watson, a junior at Redlands East Valley, is currently enrolled in three AP classes.

 She is taking a third year of a forgeign language, an honors math class, and an art elective.  Watson said that “forcing myself to wake up at a normal time in the morning, setting aside designated time for each class everyday and making sure I get outside at least once a day to give myself breaks in between my school work has kept me surprisingly productive during quarantine.” 

 Nonetheless, some students do not have their school work as organized as Watson. There is a great transition from simply a few hours of work a day to around five hours a day. 

It is extremely important to create an organizational system that works to log the classes a student will have throughout the week. For example students can make a poster, fill out an agenda,  a computer calendar system, and even a Post It schedule to log the classes they will need to attend throughout the week. Writing out all of the virtual classes and their scheduled times will take away some of the stress and risk that would come if all of that information was expected to be memorized. 

As far as completing the work that is assigned during these virtual lessons goes, dedicating specific time blocks throughout the day will help all of the work feel less daunting. If one hour work blocks are scheduled throughout the day and are complete with breaks for meals, outdoor exercise, or hobbies, the workload can get accomplished without too much stress. 

Other tips for finding success in the new world of distance learning include setting up the notifications of important applications such as the school email, google classroom, and Aeries. This way it is less likely that any important announcements or assignments will be missed. 

Students should also participate in the teachers’ dedicated office hours in the classes where they normally struggle to make sure they don’t get behind or confused on the work that is assigned. 

Staying productive during quarantine is not limited to only staying organized academically. It also involves keeping important aspects of students’ life healthy such as fitness, mental health, and relationships with friends and family. 

Making sure that students are able to find ways to still participate in the activities they loved before the pandemic is essential in making sure that their time is as enjoyable and tolerable as possible. 

Though this difficult situation has presented students with countless new challenges, high schoolers have proven to be resilient. They have still been able to be productive, organized, and make the best out of their situation. Through the use of organizational systems, notification set ups, and digital social interaction methods, students today have been able to continue getting their education in a new way. It is true that this situation is much different than any that these students have ever encountered in the past but the ways that they have overcome the current adversity should give everyone hope for the future.

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