Successful learning environment varies among students
October 10, 2020
Being a student in high school is more difficult now than ever before. For the past 10+ years of our lives, we have been accustomed to attending school and learning in a physical classroom in front of a teacher. Now, all of that has changed. Students are expected to easily adapt to an online school year. Teachers are giving us the same amount of homework as years prior, if not more.
For many students, learning in an online setting is nearly impossible. Human interaction is a necessary part of life. We are not robots designed to sit in front of a screen all day and absorb information. Humans need to laugh, have fun, converse with others, and experience life with all senses.
Obviously, during this time of a global pandemic it is not realistic to be in a classroom in the traditional way. However, the virtual learning that is currently happening does not take into account the needs of all students, and the need for different types of learning.
Students with ADHD are not being cared for properly with the virtual learning model. A common symptom of ADHD is the constant need for movement. Having to sit in front of a computer all day completely neglects this necessity, and can make students feel uncared for and helpless.
Thoughts also tend to drift in ADHD minds. This becomes a lot more common when the only other stimuli to focus on is the monotonous voice of a teacher over a speaker.
Fidget toys can be useful in combatting some of these symptoms. A variety of sensory toys are available, such as spinners, bracelets, cubes or items to chew on.
The best way to be a great teacher is to accommodate to the needs of all students. When we are back in the classroom, a transition period will be needed to adjust to the 3/2 model. A slight decrease in homework at first would make this switch less stressful for students, and likely less stressful for teachers as well.
Even though a bit of normalcy is desired right now, all we can do as a community is respect each other’s needs and work to make this a successful school year.