Virtual Fridays are Necessary for Teachers

Sarah Baird, Pawprint Staff Reporter

Like last school year, Canyons School District is implementing virtual Fridays. Those are days where classes are held online and self-paced. However, there are only six virtual Fridays instead of online Fridays being weekly like last year.Bringing back virtual Fridays is a great idea. But, unfortunately, teachers are more stressed than ever due to the ongoing pandemic and need extra help.“[Leah] Juelke, who teaches high school English learners in Fargo, N.D., says nothing prepared her for teaching during the coronavirus pandemic,” Kavitha Cardoza (National Public Radio) said. “‘The level of stress is exponentially higher. It’s like nothing I’ve experienced before,’ [Juelke said.] It’s a sentiment that NPR heard from teachers across the United States. After a year of uncertainty, long hours, and juggling personal and work responsibilities, many told NPR they had reached a breaking point.” Some may argue that virtual Fridays are detrimental to students’ education. However, it’s only six days this year, and having less stressed teachers will be more beneficial to students in the long run. Virtual Fridays are one of the only plausible options for reducing teacher burnout. Because finding substitutes is difficult now, it’d be understandable if teachers were more hesitant to take personal days to take care of themselves now. That leads to burnout since teachers might feel guilty about taking a day off if they need it. Teaching in person is more physically and emotionally demanding than teaching online. Teachers won’t have to deal with discipline problems while teaching online, which just by itself is a stress reliever. They also don’t have to plan as much for those days. Providing a couple of packets or worksheets to complete is less time-consuming than planning an entire day’s worth of work and learning.Although students don’t need it as much as teachers, virtual Fridays will also be a refreshing change of pace. Students get to sleep in and spend time with family while still learning.Virtual Fridays are essential in relieving the stress of students and teachers. So it was a brilliant move by Canyons School District to bring them back.