Facing a shutdown: The positive and negative of “Learning Without Limits”

Screens, zoom meetings, and digital assignments are all that teachers and learners alike know anymore. As a community, we have discovered some essential traits to our online learning system whether good or bad. 

Everyone involved in online learning has seen the technical glitches, unmotivated students, and struggling teachers yet also the refreshed minds, creative solutions, and newfound moments of connection. This new system has pulled a lot out of us, so as we end the school year, it is crucial to acknowledge and emphasize both the positives and negatives. 

Due to a lack of genuinely nice things to say about our current times, it is best that this list begins with such. The work of teachers impressed all their students amongst such setbacks. 

They could be found sending out postcards or creating events in which we as students could be together. Creating that space for us to see each brought a sense of peace that is rarely found in this chaos.

High school students also saw the shrinkage of much of our workload due to the district board changes that had been created. This resulted in more free time for hobbies or untouched goals that prod at the back of our minds. Many hours lost in endless work have been gained again to be used to better ourselves. The surprising situation presented time for clarity to those of us who need time in a busy life.

Opposing to the good is the struggles that have been seen as a result of the changes. Mindfully, this has been a testing time for us all, but the only excuses – such as internet issues and Covid scares – can be used for those who have ignored the weekly 30 minute classwork requirement. Less sympathy is given now that students have almost nothing going on, leaving students struggling mentally without assistance.

Even tougher on the learners, various teachers have been packing on work during this time, despite the restrictions given by the board. If we are given a clear answer as to the limit of our work, it seems that the teacher should be compliant with those rules. The student should not be responsible for keeping their teacher accountable to the guidelines. 

The lack of a clear grading system has also been a weight over the minds of grade driven students. With PowerSchool grades being taken away, we are stuck trying to figure out our final grade after completing the work. 

Not knowing about the grading system has become more of an anxiety than what receiving our true grades would have been. Though created with good intention, the problem is more significant with the new change. 

Everyone could say that this final quarter was a struggle, but it still kept a good balance. The work of students and staff during this time has made for an exciting and unusual influence on our future educational system. We remain humbled and grateful in the face of mass changes.