Students and teachers alike at Thomas Jefferson are continuing to adapt to online learning.
The Coronavirus has thrown a wrench in the lives of Americans across the country, as well as individuals all over the world. This has made working much more difficult for most people as they either have to take extra precautions to go to work, work remotely, or are even out of a job. For students and teachers, this transition is no easy feat. Now, classes are online for students, which makes learning harder than if it were in person.
However, Thomas Jefferson has made a smooth transition during this crazy time. Through the use of Google Classroom and other resources, teachers and students have finally been able to reconnect since the start of online classes on April 7th. Classes at TJ go from 8:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays with periods one, five, and seven. Then 8:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays with periods two, four, six, and eight. On Fridays, students are able to reach out for more help during office hours with teachers. In addition, there were multiple days where students could access Chromebooks to use to continue their school work if they did not have a computer of their own. These were some of the first steps to reconnect the TJ staff and their students. Now, more than a month in, classes are running smoothly and students are going to stay home until at least the end of the semester.
Although all of this seems to be negative, there are still many positive aspects to this difficult time. Students have been able to adapt quickly and have been doing very well with this new type of learning. Plus, there are other benefits that come with online learning like mostly having a more relaxed schedule and more free time. Current junior Ellie Adams explained the benefits of online school: “It’s so nice to be able to work at my own pace without classroom distractions. Also, the comfort of my own room and not needing to get up early and drive to school is super convenient.” As she explained, the online transition has given students a lot more freedom for their academic studies. In addition, there is more work assigned than usual, but students have more time to complete it, so it is also preparing students for higher levels of education as well as work and time management.
Students aren’t the only ones benefiting from this experience, teachers are also still adapting but getting more benefits from it. Jason Sheehan, an English teacher, explained, “I think TJ has done a tremendous job in transitioning to remote learning. As a school, I believe we are focusing on the emotional and social well being of our students and staff which is so important during this unprecedented time. Of course I miss seeing students and the energy that they bring every day to our school, but I think we are doing what is best for our community.” Obviously the learning is going to be much different for everyone because of the lack of content, however, TJ is doing a great job, and will continue to provide for the community as long as this issue is around.