Tips for the New Normal School


Elizabeth Whitman

With everything happening because of the pandemic, a lot of things have changed. The way people do things, such as going shopping, having get-togethers, playing sports, going to school, and more activities, are very different than they were before. Specifically, school, which is a big part of many people’s lives, has had a lot of alterations as a result of Covid-19. In our school district, Freehold Regional High School District, students, teachers, and other faculty have been operating under a hybrid schedule since October 19th. The hybrid schedule has each half of the alphabet, A through L and M through Z, going to school two and a half days a week. This means that the first half of the alphabet goes to school in person Monday, Tuesday, and every other Wednesday, while the second half goes every other Wednesday, and then Thursday and Friday. This is meant to limit the amount of people in the building at once, which makes social distancing easier. When the students are in school, they are supposed to be wearing masks at all times, wiping down their desks and chairs before and after each class, and practicing social distancing. The days that the students are not in school, they are attending class virtually. There is also a full time virtual option that can be chosen, which lets students go to school online everyday. All of these changes are a big adjustment for everyone involved. 

Even though school has been going on for about two months now and many students actually go into the building each week, online classes are still difficult and everyone needs a little help. One thing that is very important is to find a good workspace. For many students, this is their desk. Although it is very tempting to go to class in bed, it is not going to put you in the correct mindset for doing work. Having a certain place in your home that you do your homework and go to class in will help your brain understand that when you are there, it is time to do work. Another idea that might help with online learning is to do your homework with a sibling or a friend. You and the other person work for about twenty five minutes and then take a five minute break. You can repeat this for as long as you would like. This makes you and the other person accountable for actually doing your homework and it also helps to keep you both motivated. Additionally, something that is essential to being successful in online school is to reach out to your teachers if you need help. Many teachers have extra help at least one or two days a week, if not more. If you are confused on something, you will not get anywhere unless you ask for help or clarification. This last tip is probably one of the hardest. Try not to get distracted when in class or doing homework. This one is very difficult, but it can save so much time, effort, and frustration if you can do it. One way to do this is to limit the amount of things around you that can be a distraction, such as your phone. If you put your phone out of your immediate reach, you will be less likely to go on it. This will almost force you to pay attention and not get side tracked. Hopefully, these tips are useful and will help you in your online school career. Good luck in your online classes because it looks like this is going to be the new normal for a while.