Written By Halle Unthank
Ongoing cases of COVID-19 have caused JCPS students to participate in Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) for six months. As the start of the 2020-2021 school year began online, there were several differences between NTI 1.0 and NTI 2.0. This time, there were scheduled virtual classes, time frames to do assignments, and extra curricular activities beginning; there were a lot of varying opinions from students on how they felt about this remote way of learning. In this interview there will be two students’ opinions on NTI; Jenny Ngyuen, a freshman at Atherton High School, and Kassidy Shaw, a freshman at PRP high school.
First, it is important to address the positives of life during NTI. Jenny believes, “One positive thing about NTI is that I have more time to complete work, instead of my time being refrained to one class period. Also, I like that I can schedule work on a time that works best for me.”
“I personally feel better knowing I can learn at my own pace, and also I get more time to myself at home.” Kassidy said.
“As for negatives, I feel like NTI can be difficult for visual or hands-on learners,” Jenny explained. With a majority of assignments being asynchronous, several students are having a hard time adapting to learning content through reading texts and articles over having in person discussions and experiments.
“For negatives, I feel like it can be depressing when each day is repeating itself. It becomes very non-motivating to even open assignments and continue to do the same thing over and over,” Kassidy feels. NTI has had several burdens on students’ mental health, especially when many don’t even have a reason to leave their own bed or get ready for the day.
Both Jenny and Kassidy said they have been overwhelmed with the workload in their classes multiple times.
“If there was a way I could improve NTI, I would have teachers consider that students have other classes besides their own, and would have less work or more time to complete assignments,” Jenny says. Kassidy adds on, “I believe making cameras mandatory would be a positive idea so I have the motivation to get up and get ready before my classes begin.”
While Jenny would rather stay online to keep her own schedule and safety of others, Kassidy would prefer a safe way to go to in person school to improve not only her mental health, but also the way she learns.