Asynchronous Thursdays relieve stress for students and teachers

Lauren Molenda, Editor

The workload that comes with virtual learning is overwhelming for both students and teachers.

The incoming assignments are never ending, and once you’ve fallen behind, the zeros in the gradebook add up quickly.The extra time taken out of the day to prepare lessons and grade assignments forces work to mix with teacher’s lives outside of school. In attempts to relieve stress and juggle the challenges of online learning, Asynchronous Learning Days have been added into the weekly schedule.

Every Thursday, students are given the opportunity to catch up on missing assignments, receive one-on-one help from their teachers, or even get ahead in their classes. Students are not required to join a Google Meet for their classes or follow the regular bell schedule, an
d no new work is assigned for the day. However, teachers are available during “Office Hours” to assist students seeking aid in their courses.

Students are appreciative of the extra assistance and time they have been given. Junior Shirmara Anderson feels that the Asynchronous Thursday’s have not only helped her grades, but have also improved her mental and physical health.

“The new schedule has helped me tremendously,” Anderson said. “Looking at the computer every day for hours can be very draining … it gives me headaches, which leads me to falling behind on my work. These Asynchronous Thursdays allow me to make up work and get ahead where I need to, and even give me time to meditate and relax.”

Teachers at MHS, including Ms. Tanya Mead, have felt the pressure of trying to balance work and home in these tough times.

“Not only have our jobs become much harder, but life in general has been challenging over the last year,” Mead said. “COVID-19 has taken an emotional toll on everyone. Our world has changed and coping with these changes is difficult. Many teachers have children, parents, grandparents, etc. that have additional needs during this time, all while our job has become more demanding.”

Mead has seen positive results in her own classes from Asynchronous Thursdays, which will continue through the end of February.

“I have had several students take advantage of tutoring time during the past Asynchronous Learning Days,” Mead said. “Having a day for making up work is extremely helpful for students, as long as they use the time to their advantage.”