Diminishing Distractions


Cameryn Saunders, Writer

This year’s introduction of virtual classes caused many students to struggle with paying attention in all of their classes.  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most schools have turned to incorporating virtual learning into student schedules. This type of learning consists of students sitting at home and working on a computer for hours. As students take their classes virtually, there are more distractions that may draw their attention away from school. By eliminating some of these distractions and disruptions, students may be able to focus their full attention towards their classes and understand the topics they are learning. 

John Hopkins University School of Education states, “The term ‘engagement’ refers to the amount and quality of time students spend on distance learning activities.”

A way to efficiently start classes is to wake up at a reasonable time before the first period starts. This allows the student to fully wake up and prepare to start the school day. Waking up earlier in the morning may help a student focus in their first period class because their brain will no longer be in sleep-mode. By giving the brain time to wake up, a student may be able to focus and have a better grasp on what is being taught. 

Parent at EHS, Desiree Garde-Saunders, states, “I definitely think that by giving the student’s mind the time to wake up would help them have a better start to their day. I think high school students especially do not consider their sleeping schedule as an important aspect to their health and function, as many of them tend to hold unhealthy habits.”

Another tip would be to remove any personal devices away from the designated work area. Phones, as well as other devices, have become a huge distraction for students during the school week. Removing all electronic devices out of reach may prevent a student’s temptation to use it. This may help a student focus in class, as they would not be tempted to tune out the class and use their phone. 

According to the University of North Carolina, “While digital distractions are certainly not uncommon, they can be harmful to your study habits, breaking your concentration and rendering your reading or study habits ineffective.”

To help completely focus during school, a suggestion would be to wear headphones or earbuds when connecting to the virtual class meet. Wearing headphones during virtual school may drown out any other sounds happening in the student’s house. Headphones would only allow the student to hear the class, it also ensures they would not get distracted by family members or other noises. Students would be able to work more efficiently and not get easily disrupted by outside stimuluses. 

Joanna Augelletta, a senior at EHS, states, “I use earbuds when I’m in class because I can drown out any background noise that’s going on at my house so I can hear and understand what is happening in my classes.”

At-home learning has given students the responsibility of their own learning. Small changes to a school day routine may help students improve their focus during class time. As virtual learning continues for an unprecedented amount of time, students should become accustomed to learning outside of a classroom environment.