Teachers’ Advice For This Semester


Image courtesy of Tes For Schools

Many students struggled being successful last semester. For the upcoming semester, Saugus teachers offer some advice.

Maddie Del Rio, The Scroll, Wellness Editor

  The first half of the school year has been vastly different from what both students and teachers were accustomed to, but everyone has successfully persevered through the first semester. While there are many ways students performed well these past couple months, there are also areas students can improve on as they continue to adjust to online learning. The advice and opinions of teachers can assist students when considering how to perform even better this semester.

Students have been forced to transition to an entirely different form of schooling, and teachers claim they are impressed with students’ efforts. To demonstrate, chemistry teacher Marc Stephenson described his students as, “amazingly flexible in the transitioning to a learning format that is foreign to all of us.” 

Analia Paniagua, Spanish teacher at Saugus High School, stated that most of her students were on time and had a fervent desire to perform well in distance learning. However, helpful tips were also offered that should be put into practice for the next half of the school year.

Teachers first expressed that communication is crucial to succeed in distance learning. “I love when students communicate with me. Even if it’s to tell me that they aren’t able to attend the session, it shows maturity and respect on their part. Teachers are unable to pick up non-verbal cues, such as a look of confusion on a student’s face, so talk to us!” Paniagua urged kids at Saugus. 

Stephenson added, “Ask for help. Your teachers want to help you, but it’s hard for us to know where you are sometimes.” Teachers want success for their students, but communication is key to attain their guidance.

To perform their best, students must avoid procrastination and stay on top of work to relieve stress and have the time to put effort into every assignment. Allyson Stuart, English teacher at Saugus, explained that, “to manage time and plan ahead, students need to get in the habit of using the planner. When you don’t have unfinished papers in your backpack, you don’t have a tangible reminder of what needs to be done. So, using the planner is even more essential now. Staying organized and managing your time are life skills that can help right now in our current situation and will also help students down the road.” 

Stephenson pointed out that, “Students are waiting until the last minute to do things which causes anxiety. Planning and utilizing their time in an efficient manner will help a lot in reducing stress.”

A good study environment is also essential to performing well through distance learning. Keeping motivated and focused, students must avoid the countless distractions at home and create an efficient workspace for themselves. Paniagua expressed, “This goes without saying. Avoid your phone. Don’t play video games. Find a quiet place in your home, free from other family members, and for the love of Pete, please come out of the blanket that you’re wearing!” Mimicking a school setting at home will help produce diligence and efficiency while working. 

Stuart added, “Another important piece of advice… students need to take advantage of MAP time. Teachers are more available to students now than they ever have been before. Yes, online learning and teaching has its challenges and drawbacks, but with the new MAP time schedule, teacher availability is not one of them. Students who are struggling or have questions need to show up and make the most of the current learning situation.”

Though distance learning is not ideal, students must continue to try their best and continue putting effort into everything they do, for students will succeed with the right attitude. “Remember that school still matters,” Stuart urged. “Grades still count. Graduation still exists. Colleges are still looking for academic excellence. I think sometimes students forget that and don’t realize the limitations they are putting on themselves or the repercussions they are going to face when they give up, just because distance learning is hard.”

“Students have to want to succeed,” Paniagua expressed. “When you run into challenges, whether they are mental, technical, or logistical, keep trying and ask for help.”