Mandatory quarantine for teachers, students disrupts learning

Senior Andrew Samountry enjoys going to school to chat with friends at lunch and interact during class discussions. Now with the restrictions that COVID-19 has placed, Samountry feels alone and is falling behind in school due to being in quarantine. 

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the building by the day, so are the number of students and teachers being required to quarantine due to close contact. 

“I’m a week through my quarantine and school has been much harder,” Samountry said. “I like the social aspect of school and being home all day is not the best for me. Plus it’s hard for me to work at home because I can’t really concentrate as I do at school so I’m falling behind on my work and it’s not a good thing.”

Being in quarantine affects every student differently. According to Samountry, his biggest motivation in getting through quarantine has been knowing that he will soon be able to return to school and have a better learning experience than he does at home. 

“Honestly it sucks. It’s been much harder. At school, there are teachers who can answer your questions but even though we do the same work at home as we do at school, I feel left alone,” Samountry said. 

For some students, quarantine has allowed them to manage their time in order to complete assignments. Senior Anakaren Barragan has now returned back to school after being in quarantine. 

“I was worried I was going to fall behind and that teachers were going to give out more work,” Barragan said, “But it wasn’t that bad because I kept up with everything. I had more time to do everything so I feel like I got more done and I managed my time with all my classes.”

Students have also been given the option to self-quarantine. Senior Carlos Dominguez chose this option due to his COVID concerns. 

“I chose to be quarantined because of the rising number of quarantines and cases that have been happening at school,” Dominguez said. 

With teachers moving lesson plans to be completely digital, students are able to access and work on assignments from home. Students have been utilizing Google Classroom as not only a place to work on assignments but also as their main source of communication.

“Being in quarantine hasn’t been that bad and school work hasn’t been bad either since all the work has been done on the computer, even at school,” Dominguez said. 

Learning from home comes with a variety of struggles and distractions. Junior Gerson Melton has also recently returned from his mandatory 14-day quarantine in which he struggled in finding the motivation to complete his work. 

“I had zero motivation to do any of it because I felt like I was just doing it instead of learning it,” Melton said.

Being able to pay attention and stay focused at school is already a struggle for some students. Now having to learn from home has been more demanding for students in quarantine.

“Out of the bare minimum work I received during quarantine, it was definitely harder. Only one of my teachers posted footage from their class except watching a 54-minute video of the class isn’t exactly the most helpful thing nor was it easy to do, hence why I didn’t watch any of them,” Melton said. 

Teachers alike are also having to deal with the challenges that come from being in quarantine. Erica Roberts, a psychology and AP Human Geography teacher has recently been quarantined due to close contact. According to Roberts, being a teacher in quarantine has been difficult to navigate. 

 “It is difficult to not have in-person feedback on the concepts my students may be struggling with within the content,” Roberts said, “I also miss being able to plan with my other content teachers in person. The discussions that we have are extremely valuable in designing the curriculum.”

A high number of Roberts’ students have also been quarantined due to close contact. Due to this, many students are having a difficult time completing assignments. Roberts has had to find ways in which she can easily reach out to students who may have questions on a topic. 

“Being quarantined does have some effect on my ability to teach and connect with students; however, so many of my students are also quarantined so we are connected virtually in a way,” Roberts said. “I miss being able to have in-person discussions with my students. This is one of my favorite parts of teaching.”