The Student News Site of Gabrielino High School

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Virtual schedule hurts students and teachers

    By Vanessa Wang | Junior Editor

    Image by Jordan Bissel

       As a result of COVID-19, Gabrielino High School has started its 2020-2021 school year online. The Virtual Academy is a rotating block schedule of three classes per day, 90-minutes each. This schedule is disadvantageous for both Gabrielino students and teachers because the classes are too long to stay focused and the lunches are too short to get a proper break. 

       The first two periods of the day are divided by a 20-minute break and there is a 45-minute lunch between the second and third classes of the day. This does not allow for effective breaks from screen time.

       When a student is sitting in a Zoom meeting for too long, it is easy for them to lose focus and become distracted. After a while, they may begin to suffer from Zoom fatigue, which is a feeling of tiredness resulting from lengthy virtual meetings.

       According to Market Scale, being in online meetings can cause people to experience exhaustion more quickly and easily than if they were physically interacting with others at school or at work.

        Business Insider states that prolonged periods using technology causes eye strain, headaches, and disrupts sleep. Spending such long periods staring at a computer screen for class – not to mention for homework, which also has to be completed online – is harmful for students. Teachers are harmed as well as they have to grade and plan virtually. too.

       Not only are the classes too long for effective learning, but the lunches are also too short for people to prepare and eat. 

       Besides having to make their own meals, many students and teachers have younger siblings or children that they have to prepare food for, which takes up even more of their break time. 

       According to Chalkbeat, “About half […] of all public school teachers have [young children] living at home.” 

       Nearly 50 percent of teachers have kids that they need to constantly supervise, in addition to providing them with lunch. That is a difficult task with the limited time given for lunch breaks. 

       To help provide everyone with more respite from the computer, Gabrielino can require all teachers to give each class a ten-minute break next semester. This will give everyone a chance to rest and take a breather before continuing lessons.

       Additionally, after the district-required 30-minutes of face-to-face instruction, teachers should release students to complete the work on their own if there is no longer a need for the students to remain in the  Zoom meeting. This way, students and teachers will get more time away from their screens and have time to prepare lunch.   

       Gabrielino’s Virtual Academy schedule is inconvenient for both students and teachers. The long class periods prevent students from staying alert and focused and the 45-minute lunch periods do not provide a sufficient break for anyone.

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    Virtual schedule hurts students and teachers