Homework piles up

Julia L. '20 doing homework on her bed. She focuses on the work that she collected throughout the school day

Students and teachers alike are trying to figure out how to balance in-class and remote learning while in the hybrid schedule. Some students believe that teachers may be assigning too much work.
Junior Isabella Molina believes that teachers are assigning too much and it is not fair as she is trying to keep up.
“I have many other things I have to do besides school, and it’s really hard to try and find time for everything else I have to do,” says Molina.
Students are finding it takes longer to complete homework on a daily basis because they are mostly working from home without much direct contact with their teachers.
“I spend around two to three hours doing homework every night,” says Molina.
Other students like Patrick Vu ’23 has also found that the amount he does for homework every night has increased.
“I work on homework for about two hours every night,” says Vu.
Students are on their computers for almost the entire school day plus a few more hours every evening and current research shows this could be unhealthy.
According to the Mayo Clinic, teens and adults should be on screens for about two hours a day.
Experts believe that too much screen time can lead to negative side effects.
In a Times article from M.J. Duncan, they include research on the topic.

“A 2017 study of U.S. adults found spending six hours or more a day watching TV or using computers was associated with a higher risk for depression,” according to the New York Times report.
The new increased amount of homework also impacts students’ social lives.
“I think everyone felt a little sadder not seeing their friends, and for people like me it’s way harder to do online. I learn way better with actual social contact,” says Vu.
With the lack of in-person time teachers have also been struggling to make connections with students and help students who need more support.
“It has been really hard to build relationships with students with only one in-person class a week, students getting quarantined, and teachers getting quarantined. But I try to make myself available in class and through email. By making myself available through both, I have had several students reach out and ask for more support,” says Ms. Danielle Nitcher, science teacher at Heritage.
Even if students are home more, they feel the amount of homework assigned is not feasible.
“Some teachers have even admitted to saying that now that the majority of the school is online, we as students have no excuse to not finish the multiple different assignments from one class. However, it gets worse as more teachers do the exact same thing,” says Molina.
TOPS student Julia L. ’21 finds the amount of work to be fair for a few reasons.
“I think the amount of work is fair because we have free time to do it,” says Julia.
Teachers have also been trying to accommodate students and put themselves in students’ shoes.
“I am trying my best to keep my students in mind with every assignment that I am creating. I have asked my students in Google Forms, what is working for them, what is hard for them, and what I could do to help them. I then take those students’ responses and try my best to include them in future lessons and teaching,” says Nitcher.
With the hybrid model and learning the new system, students and staff alike are trying to stick together and stay flexible.
“It is a learning process for teachers and students, and we are constantly making changes and pivoting at the last minute when needed,” states Nitcher.

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