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Issue #1 - Opinion Page

by Allie Harris

   In 20 countries, Spanish is the official language. That’s 20 cultures, people, places, and worlds that are opened up through one language. Yet, it’s barely taught throughout the US.

   For Burlington High School, the students’ main concern is the way the class is taught: more specifically, the blended learning system we have set up. Two out of three days of the week are taught over zoom by a Spanish instructor, and the other three are filled by working through the online course, “Edgenuity.”

   Students say that too many assignments are assigned a day, they aren’t learning anything, and that it’s long, tedious work with no payoff. This is all true for most of them. However, how much effort one is willing to put into something directly reflects how much they get in return. If they don't try, then why should they expect to get anything?

   Yes, you can google the answers and get by. Or, you could put in the work. In the first option, you get nothing but a letter in the gradebook, while the latter gets an education. The students get to decide what to do.

   You created your problems with this course. This is the best possible compromise. Both the instructors at Greenbush and Burlington's proctors do their very best to create an opportunity for learning this immensely useful skill. There's plenty of tools given out each class: Duolingo, Kahoots, verb charts, and vocab lists.

   And yet, you can’t make a horse drink just because there’s water. With resources in front of your face, you have a choice: do the bare minimum and get an A, or put in the work? Which do you prefer?

by Lyra Codney

   Burlington High School has had a Spanish class for many years. Recently, though, it has been transferred to an online course. Now that this has happened, many students wonder if the school should even offer a Spanish class.

   Instead of having a teacher every day, you Zoom with a teacher twice a week. The problem with this is unlike a teacher you see every day, you wouldn't be able to ask for help as easily. Asking questions in class is tedious, and the only other alternative is emailing her. This creates a massive digital wall between the instructor and the students that must learn from her. Having a wall like this is the least ideal opportunity for students, as it discourages students from asking questions.

   On top of Zooming with a teacher twice a week, the other days are spent working online through a course called Edgenuity. This causes problems such as not being able to hear the audio and microphone clearly. Without having the teacher there, it is hard to know if what you are doing in class is right.

   Now, you may be thinking, it's nice having a foreign language class offered at your school. But, is it really worth having a class if you don't learn anything? Many kids who give their best in the class still struggle with work overload. You are also expected to memorize an entire list of up to thirty words per week. Plus, they get to learn verb conjugation as well. This causes an excessive amount of stress that the instructor is completely unaware of.

   Learning a foreign language is more than just speaking it. It's also comprehending, writing, and grammar. Another language is already challenging. Doing it on the computer makes it even more complicated.

   It may be an elective class, but most teens don't know what they are getting themselves into when they sign up. Also, as an elective class, it adds much more work than some required classes. This causes a huge amount of stress for teens that the teacher is unable to see. You might think, just tell her about it. However, since we use an online program, that's not possible. Burlington High School should only have a Spanish class if there is an in-person teacher to better the students' education. Otherwise, it's just not worth it.

   How much sleep should you get a night? It is scientifically shown that most high school students get around 5-8 hours of sleep a night. Experts say that you need 8-10 hours per every 24 hours.

   So, how much sleep are you getting? If you are getting less than the recommend amount of sleep a night, then you are more likely to not function correctly. You start to fall asleep at random times. You have little motivation to do anything, and you are not doing anything to help other people or yourself. If you are getting a proper amount of sleep then you feel like you can do and achieve more.

   What are the reasons teens are staying up late? I could list a few: gaming, watching Netflix, face timing, partying, and hanging out with friends. This is a very short list of things you could do on a school night. It may feel good to stay up late, but you are wrecking your body in the process.

   How are sleep deprived students keeping themselves awake during the day? The number one solution is caffeine. More than 80% of teens drink caffeine a day, whether it is coffee, energy drinks, or soda (Gunter). My point is that teens will do anything to keep themselves awake.

   Do you know what the freshmen’s number one problem is? Lack of sleep. It is very tempting to fall asleep during class because students have to sit and listen to their teachers. Here are some tips for better sleep: a regulated sleep schedule, don’t take naps after 3pm, and stay away from caffeine six hours before you go to sleep.

   It is actually proven that teens get less sleep than adults and children. 70% of high schoolers get less that the recommended amount of sleep (Campbell). A severe lack of sleep can lead to depression and aggression. So, get more sleep!

by Lyra C.
by Lyra C.
by Allie H.
by Allie H.