By Lex Cornell
In the Rochester City School Districts, school closings have been happening due to the Covid cases, not just only one day. With schools closed for more than one day due to staff absences, we had to switch to remote without very much notice or instructions on how we were supposed to do it. Many schools didn’t reopen after closing for in-person schooling. For the four days, we were remote many of the students were misunderstanding the concepts that we were supposed to be learning. This had a negative impact on student grades. When students returned to in-person learning at school, students were overwhelmed with missed assignments and lower grades. Not to mention, it is so close to the end of the marking period.
The impact of COVID on faculty is different than that on students. The staff fears getting sick and spreading it to their students or families at home. When teachers get sick, they have to make plans to be out, unsure if there will even be sub coverage. Staff worries that the lack of continuity of learning will hinder student performance, “It’s really hard for the kids because they have a new sub every day. Also, lesson planning gets really hard for the students,” says Susan Gross, the lead teacher in the CTE pathways. She states that “many teachers are asked to sub for other teachers when they are absent during their planning periods.” Students might struggle to be motivated to engage back in the course work. Faculty feel compelled to return as quickly as possible but may not feel good enough to return. The staff has to decide between work and their health.
Many scholars have felt that when they are out due to COVID they don't have the time to get better and keep up with their classes. This leads them to feel very overwhelmed by the work. Many people when they feel overwhelmed tend to push back with either bad behavior or with lack of motivation and involvement, According to Shawn Graves, East High senior, “COVID affected me a lot by being unable to keep up with the classes while feeling sick. I felt really discouraged and upset when I found out how my grades dropped, I tried to work with my teachers to accommodate my grades,” Many teachers work with scholars to help them improve their grades and catch up with the class. Sometimes it’s not enough for the students and they get too far behind to get back ahead. This strongly discourages the students from working at their best.
Both the students and staff, it is so difficult to come back. Trying to reconnect with each other and to get motivated to work together again while showing compassion and patience for meeting each other’s needs. The main conflict arises with the lack of teachers and students during in-person schooling sessions. One way we could help the schools with COVID rates is to encourage proper mask-wearing, increased social distancing, and weekly COVID screenings. I feel that that would be the safest option for schools to able to stay in-person learning.