Tutorial Returns For Second Semester

Sumehra Jamal, Staff Writer


Second Semester Schedule (Sumehra Jamal)

This semester, the school started with schedule changes after trial and error during the first semester at home. 

  25-minute passing periods were implemented for the first time last semester in order to give teachers time to clean desks and stagger dismissals to facilitate social distancing. However, this new addition came at the cost of tutorial time. Classes being online made it evidently harder for students to learn. Without one-on-one talks with the teacher to answer questions, students suffered another blow. 

  After hearing teachers fight for their tutorial time back during the last half of first semester, the district rewrote the schedule to account for longer passing periods and the additional tutorial time. Passing periods remain 25 minutes long. Class time, however, has been cut down to 90 minutes from the previous 110 minutes. On top of this, however, is a 22-minute tutorial at the end of each class, different from the old 35-minute tutorials in the regular schedule. 

  Mrs. Middlebrook (AP Government) says, “While I had to adjust a bit to it, I don’t have any issues with the new schedule; I love the new schedule.” 

  When asked if tutorial proved useful, she says, “Very much so. It gives me a chance to figure out who needs help and to keep kids after because there was simply no time.”

  “Before, I had to clean the desks, I needed to use the restroom, I needed to take my mask off for a second, and the only way I could help students was after their 9 P.M. email.”

  Middlebrook admits that not many have come to her yet, “but that’s just because they don’t really need help yet. It’s not that far into the semester, but I know they will soon.”

  However, there are also many teachers who feel otherwise. 

  Mrs. Bhaskar (AP Biology) complains that “While I am grateful for tutorial time, I cannot spend it the way I usually utilize tutorials in my class.” Bhaskar explains that AP Bio is a very content-heavy and intensive class where every period is used up bell to bell. “In normal years, my tutorials were used for review sessions before a test or for one-on-one questions with students.

  “Currently, because of several issues that have occurred this year, my students may have one chapter to learn on their own if we do not catch up. If I were to give them their tutorial time to use how they see fit, I would be leaving them with six chapters to learn on their own.”

  Due to a medical situation, Bhaskar continues to teach her students from home. For that reason, she says that the other miniscule changes to the schedule do not affect her very much. However, her concern still lies in how much she can prepare her students for the upcoming AP Exam. 

  Mrs. Wright (Psychology and AP Art History) complains not of the new changes, but rather pushes for more change. “Because of how difficult Canvas is, teachers need time to themselves to set up their tests and other assignments.” 

  Wright claims that there are no problems with the amount of class time she gets with her students. However, there are other requirements that she believes are unnecessary. “While you guys get to sleep in on Mondays, teachers have to be up for hour long meetings.”

   What Wright refers to is the PLC period given to teachers for them to discuss anything amongst each other. “Truly we don’t get anything done because nothing needs to actually be discussed. I could be using that time to set up my tests, but instead it’s wasted on something completely useless.” 

  While the new schedule appears to be more beneficial to students, teachers’ opinions vary on the new tutorial. http://https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1-WyeIi7brPfLbrgPJhbM4U3vW93WxpUY