Philly students' workload during the pandemic

Photo Credits: The Progressive Pulse, a blog from NC Policy Watch
Photo Credits: The Progressive Pulse, a blog from NC Policy Watch

To feel the pulse of the District regarding student workload, we asked students "How is your workload in virtual school? Do you feel overwhelmed? Do you feel challenged enough?" Here are ten of their responses.

Omar Elamin is a junior at George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science:

My workload in virtual school isn’t that bad. We don´t get any tests besides spanish and the big part of our grade is classwork and participation. But it can be hard because there have been times when work has been given and it feels like it's just being piled on top of everything else and it makes you not want to do it. But I think the teachers try not to give classwork and homework that take too long or is too challenging, because they understand our situation, and that goes a long way.

Sofia Pejcic is a senior at Masterman High School:

Before virtual school I never struggled to get school work done. It's just something I did when I got home. Only English essays sparked a deep internal battle. But now, on top of senioritis, I feel little incentive to do assignments. School is so removed that even anxiety or remorse isn't a motivator anymore -- I don't have to face my Comp Sci teacher after not turning in a single assignment for 3 months.

Ryo Lindsey is a senior at Materman High School:

My workload in virtual school seems like a lot mostly because everything is online. This week especially I feel very overwhelmed because on top of all the college decisions my teachers decided to pile up a ton of work. The asynchronous periods definitely help but I wish we had an entire day of asynchronous work to catch up on all the work that the teachers are pushing onto us. Some classes are more challenging than others mostly because I need to keep my camera on and that forces me to pay attention. Some of the classes that don't require me to keep my camera on, I sometimes slack off and don't really pay attention. I hope that these AP classes that we are taking virtually will adequately prepare us for the AP exams but I don't have high hopes. I am probably going to have to study using other resources to perform well on those tests.

Meg is a sophomore at Kensington High School:

Virtual school is a challenge for everyone. I think the workload given to us from the teachers is enough for us. Most of our classes have one or two assignments, and they are not very hard to complete. I personally find the virtual school pretty much full of knowledge and easy to handle.

Zinyon Robinson is a junior at Parkway Center City Middle College High School:

My workload during this time, virtually, is manageable. As I go into a new week, the workload seems heavy but in reality I have no real complaints. There are times when I feel overwhelmed, mainly because I tend to mentally plan out when I will start and even complete an assignment. I definitely feel challenged, especially for the reason of being introduced to something new each week. Personally, my instructors have created a virtual environment where students can't become too comfortable in their studies, allowing us to feel challenged and learn throughout the school year.

Brandon Henderson is a sophomore at Carver High School:

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The workload will either be somewhat manageable or just too much. And it's not like that's something I'm not used to, the only thing is none of anything sticks with me. I've asked other students to tell me one thing they learned this year, and almost every one of them responded with "Nothing”. 

Omar Elamin is a junior at Carver High School:

The virtual year of education has changed so much about the way we all learn. For me, personally, I've had my entire commute to school removed, netting me more free time, time that could've been spent working at a comfortable pace. With these pandemic adjustments, many students have seen an increase in free time due to online learning, but paradoxically, this hasn't translated into a lesser workload, rather a larger and more spread out workload, one that's quickly overwhelmed the unprepared. I myself let it get the best of me once so far, but after a sit down with my teachers I rebounded and finally feel prepared to take it on and finish off the year strongly.

The following students have opted to remain anonymous.

Sophomore from Kensington High School:

Me siento abrumada. Super cansada. No entiendo casi nada. Translated: I feel overwhelmed. Super tired, I don't understand almost anything. 

Senior from Kensington High School:

At first I thought it was the best thing ever since we are home and probably in bed while in class but after it started to be overwhelming and I lost motivation, but since it is my last year I am trying my best and trying to stay motivated. 

Senior from Kensington High School:

I haven’t faced a single challenge in virtual school other than struggling to wake up. Same for every other school year because school just isn’t hard. 


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