School’s Slower Pace

COVID-19 allows us to slow down, take time

Nina Bush, Staff Writer

The past year has brought many schedules, quick changes in what used to be everyday life, and much uncertainty. Despite this, the one thing that has stayed constant in the past year is the slower pace of school. As a strong supporter of our academic rigor, I used to see this change as bad. However, there are many benefits to the slower pace that could be implemented into our schedule when or if we return to “normal” school.

The first main benefit of hybrid or online learning is that we have significantly more free time built into the schedule. This has been a large part of why online school has worked for the past year because it gives students time to learn the material in class and sit with it, allowing more learning to occur. After all, students need to review their notes or seek out their teachers to ask about things they are confused about in order to succeed. When moving at a fast pace, students learn large amounts of material in a short amount of time, resulting in studying for tests being more about memorizing or cramming instead of actually learning the material. So, relaxing the academic schedule has given students the opportunity to learn and wrestle with material instead of merely memorizing it. As a result, a slower pace allows students to take more classes that challenge them because they have more time to learn, giving students the skills to challenge and push themselves. 

Outside of academics, the slower pace has given me more free time, allowing me to enjoy time with my friends, family, and given me time to play sports or relax, making me a more effective student in the process because it has given me a chance to clear my mind and focus. When we have a faster pace, I am doing homework for most of my day, and the longer I work, the slower I become, and the easier it is for me to make a mistake, so more built in free time has allowed me to be more efficient and productive and taught me about time management. 

Additionally, with the hybrid model, many of my teachers have created office hour slots almost every day, which is significantly more than we have had in the past. This has allowed us to get to ask questions to further our learning and has allowed me to build stronger relationships with my teachers and peers outside of the classroom, resulting in a stronger community. When this community is strengthened, learning becomes more fun, and I feel that the bonds I have developed with my peers this year have been more significant than any in the past. 

Overall, I feel that some aspects of this slower pace like larger periods of time for covering each unit, more office hours slots during the week, and more free time should be implemented into our schedules so that students can have the opportunity to step outside of their comfort zones and strengthen our community.