Class Zooms By: Pandemic Effects on Grades


Susan Sekera, Staff Writer

Education majors are not taught how to adapt to a global pandemic during their years in college. They choose their major in order to interact with kids and teach to a class, no one signed up to lecture a screen of half asleep students in tiny boxes. Now teachers spend just as much time teaching as they do figuring out how to educate their students.

A New York Times article by Emma Goldberg states “the U.S. looks to teachers not only for children’s education and well-being but also as essential child care” Teachers have a difficult and necessary job. Without adapting to the changes in the world, their job will become increasingly strenuous.

Through this difficult school year, teachers need to adapt the way they are grading in order to account for problems students are facing. This adapted grading system would need to allow for understanding and add leniency for both students and teachers as they attempt to navigate the difficult situations that the pandemic has put them in.

In an article posted by Edutopia, Youki Terada states “students will start the new school year with an average of 66 percent of the learning gains in reading and 44 percent of the learning gains in math, relative to the gains for a typical school year.” The drastic change in learning gains shows that students will have a very difficult time catching up to the level at which they need to be in their classes. A typical grading system does not consider such drops in the students’ education based on outside circumstances.

Students need an adapted grading system in order to help them combat the high levels of stress that have been increased in this time. The lack of a regular schedule has left many students lost and confused. Schedules of students typically fall into the categories of full in-person, hybrid, online with class, or an online school. Based on the district and government, these schedules could change at a moment’s notice. 

Grace Smith, a senior at Wheaton Warrenville South High School, stated “Since the start of the hybrid schedule, I have noticed my stress levels increasing because I feel more anxious about school when I am at home.” Any student faced with regular change will find it difficult to keep stress levels down. 

Some would oppose the idea of an adjusted grading system. Those in opposition believe that students will be able to work just as well in their adjusted schedule, they may need more time, but nothing more than that. These people fail to realize that the students who continue to work hard, even from home, are the ones with the highest stress levels and need an understanding of their work rather than a later due date. People may also believe that an adjusted grading system would not help because students who refuse to do the work, will fall behind no matter what. A student who feels supported and heard by their teacher though, is more likely to put in as much effort as they can. 

Wheaton Warrenville South High School freshman Thomas Sekera stated “The transition to high school has been hard, but teachers who are more lenient have made it better.” Students all over now can easily tell which teachers are the best fit for them and help suggest ideas for other teachers to implement in class.

Teachers and students must work together to save the education system during this pandemic. In order to accomplish this new grading system teachers and students must communicate with one another about the workload and key factors in getting everything done. Expectations must be set for students to continue putting in hard work, and teachers must be present for students to go to for help, leniency, and understanding. With these changes in school, students will be able to learn and receive grades that properly reflect them.