It has been a strange and devastating year, with rippling effects in nearly every part of our lives. One such effect has been a complete reimagining of how students attend school. For students who struggle to manage their time – indeed, for most students – hybrid and remote learning have presented serious challenges. Their schedules alone can be incredibly confusing; I have a student whose classes switch between live and asynchronous, remote and in-person. All of these classes have both homework and asynchronous classwork. For even the most organized student, keeping a schedule like this straight and managing all of the work can become overwhelming.
Beyond the logistics of keeping schedules, classwork, and homework straight, there lies the very real challenge of spending hours a day learning on Zoom, Google Meet, or some other remote learning platform. Having myself completed a teaching certification in July that required me to be on Zoom for seven hours a day for three weeks, I know first-hand how draining this can be.
So what can students do to make all of this easier?
I have my students write out a daily schedule, in which they clearly map out every hour of the school day. This helps them to keep track of their live classes, and it also helps them to block out time for asynchronous classwork. If a student does this at the beginning of the week, they can lean on this schedule to guide them through each day; it eliminates the energy spent on the guesswork of “where am I supposed to be now? What am I supposed to be doing?” Getting in the habit of creating a schedule also sets students up for success down the road. Many students struggle when they enter college because the combination of more free hours and heavier workload requires some top-notch time management skills. If a student has started implementing these skills in high school, it sets them up for success.
Another tip is to encourage students to write out their daily schedules on paper or in a physical planner, rather than on their phones or in Google Calendar. Working on a written schedule provides a nice break from screens, and there’s something satisfying about physically crossing tasks off of a list.
Lauren Singerman, Director of Tutoring