Students struggle with maintaining productivity, motivation and time


Lily Robison, Social Media Editor

Throughout this school year, there have been many changes both students and faculty members have had to endure. For teachers, the problem some have been facing is connecting with their students. For students, maintaining motivation, productivity and time has been the biggest struggle.

Some ways students have tried to distract themselves from staying on track is by using social media, different streaming platforms, hanging out with friends, and sleeping.

“I think that, especially since the explosion of TikTok, […] it’s very easy to escape from your life and your problems and your stress and spend hours on TikTok,” counselor Jennifer Cashman said.

“This pandemic has exposed everyone’s weaknesses,” history teacher Jill Weber said. “Those who struggled with productivity are really struggling with it now,” she said. “Those who really thrived on having the schedule of the school day and that structure, maybe didn’t realize that they needed that structure, and then all of a sudden when that was taken away and you’re given a whole day of freedom, it’s like, “I can do whatever I want,” and it can be hard to force yourself to stick to a schedule.”

Some students are struggling with staying on task given the lack of schedule. Weber said that it can be hard to assign a strict schedule for yourself. 

“I think that the way [teachers] see it is we get to stay home in our pajamas and have fun but in reality, school is near impossible to have motivation for,” junior Julie Onderek said. “I also think that if I have good grades, they think I’m doing good, when in reality I’m barely comprehending the material.”

On Wednesdays, the school is now available to students who need a little extra help from teachers to understand material. It can also be a way to get away from distracting environments to get work done.

“I love the idea [of Wednesdays being a work day], and I hope that kids use that as a true opportunity to get caught up,” principal Chris Botts said. “You’ve got pretty much one-on-one help with the teacher and the school’s a little bit quieter. […] You’ve got a place to work, whether that’s just even a library or a teacher’s classroom.”

Cashman, Weber and Botts have said that their biggest advice to students is to build a structure, create a schedule, get out of bed, have an accountability buddy and communicate with your teachers.

“If you start the day with the mindset that it’s going to be a productive day, it’s going to be a productive day,” Botts said. “If you’ve got a lot to do, I think it’s so important to just get up and get out of bed and just get the day started.”

Weber’s advice for teachers to help connect with their students is to talk with them, ask them silly questions to break the ice, start conversations and try to be understanding. 

“Encourage them to communicate with you,” she said. “When they do, give them the benefit of the doubt the first time for sure.”

Weber recommends showing genuine interest in the lives of students and remembering important details.

“Just remember that we’re all in this together,” Botts said. “We want to help our kids learn and we want to help them earn the credits to help earn that high school diploma. Teachers can’t do it alone and kids can’t do it alone. We have to be in this together. […] Just know that we are all here ready to help.”