Molly is a sophomore in her first year of journalism. She doesn't play any sports, but she manages the JV football team as well as the JV baseball team....
Why are so many students failing?
January 7, 2021
Has Covid made an impact on your grades for the worse?
If so, you are not alone. It seems that a lot of students are not doing as well as they might in a normal school year.
In some classes at FCHS, over half of the students are failing this year in the virtual environment. There are several reasons why this may be the outcome for a lot of students. Factors may include the challenges of navigating a virtual environment, stress over Covid, family struggles, needing to help babysit siblings or pets, internet issues, and dealing with distractions at home. Even students who are passing their classes seem to be finding virtual learning a challenge.
With the hybrid option, students are able to go into the school two days a week and are able to get some extra help if needed. But if you are virtual that can make things a little bit more tricky; you must keep up with your work and pace yourself, and if you need help you either have to arrange a call with a teacher, or email them and wait for a response.
Earth Science teacher Amy Richardson thinks that virtual learning has some inherent challenges. “Students need to feel a connection with the other students and their teacher and actively learn through interactions. You just don’t get this through a screen,” she says.
Teaching virtually is harder for teachers as well. “Grading is much harder when you have to open so many apps and online submissions,” said Richardson. “Sometimes, I feel a little scattered when I am trying to do a hands-on activity with students while also trying to demonstrate it under the document camera. I also feel bad that my at-home students can only watch and not do some of the labs,” she added.
On the other hand, there are students who are thriving in this environment. One junior, Evie Benson, says she is doing well in the virtual environment. “I work better in a virtual environment because I get distracted with others.” She also likes that she has more freedom to do what she wants, although she admitted that she misses some things about being in person. “I miss seeing my friends and funny unexpected things that happen,” she said.
So what can you do to thrive in a virtual environment?
Richardson has a few tips for students, including coming to class every day, and picking one day each week to touch base with your teachers, either in an email or in a virtual meeting. She notes that while time management is difficult, if you figure out how to pace yourself than the time management will be much easier. Don’t look at all your assignments at once; you may get overwhelmed. Instead, go class by class, or focus on which assignments are due first, and check things off as you complete them.
Even if you haven’t done as well as you would have liked in the first semester, you still have an opportunity to start fresh for the second semester. And remember, being virtual can have its benefits, so focus on the positive.
“The best thing about being virtual is getting to make your own schedule. I take breaks when I need them and I can get my work done faster,” said sophomore Sophia Harris.