Not being able to switch learning environments is destroying students’ success

Jessie Schwitters, Staff Writer

As it stands, switching your teacher is not considered a valid reason to change classes; this inability to swap can negatively affect students learning. It is crucial to a student’s success to have a good learning environment.  

We want every student to have success in their classes, however, we do not switch students’ schedules according to preferences for teaching methods.”

— Counselor Mrs. Mukenge

Pie chart showing 50 students answers on if they have experienced learning difficulties. (Credit: Jessie Schwitters)

Every student has a different way of learning, from hands-on activities like projects to more visual aspects like showing pictures and graphs. Passing a class becomes immensely challenging when a teacher does not provide the information the way you learn.  

After polling 50 students about their experiences with different working environments around Roswell, the Infographic shows that out of 50 students, 100% have experienced problems learning due to a teacher. 

When asked if they passed or failed the class due to trouble learning, 36% failed, and 40% barely passed.  

“Even though I passed, I almost had to teach myself. I got lucky, and I did the homework and retook quizzes which led me to pass.”- Kayla Bradly-Lewis (10) 

“The ways the teacher provided information was very challenging for me; they told us to just look back at old PowerPoints, which did not help me learn at all”- Kyla Blade (10) 

Pie chart showing how many students passed and failed a class due to struggling to learn. (Credit: Jessie Schwitters)

I struggled a lot due to online school preventing me from talking to my teachers like I used to. Especially in math, if I missed a day or got behind on a day, I would be lost the next day. For the first two weeks of school, the school did not assign me a teacher. I had to study a lot and teach myself most of the material, which caused me to pass barely.  

This year, math is still a struggle. I believe part of it does have to do with the way my teacher has been delivering the information. If I had the chance to switch out, I would, however, not because the teacher is terrible, just because the way they teach is not helping me learn.  

I think it would benefit students and staff if students could switch classes if they were struggling.  

Many students have reported changing their teachers because of their falling grades; however, their counselors denied it. 

Leona Bartolomei (10) describes her experiences last year with her learning difficulties. 

“Last year during my freshman year it was a difficult year already with students and teachers, but in particular my teacher would just not grade my work because she thought that I didn’t take my tests.” 

“I ended up getting 60’s and 70’s on most of my tests, I was really worried that I would fail the year and It took a lot of me I felt less than and not good enough or smart enough.”  

“I ended off the year with a 70, so I still passed but with a C and this in turn brought down my gpa. Therefore, I think it would be better if we had the option to switch classes. Not only that but in many parents including mine care about that “silly little” quiz grade, and this can affect our social lives and mental health in the worst way possible.” 

“Like last year this year I also had I teacher who I didn’t learn from. However, unlike last year I went to my consular about switching my teacher. I was denied the option of switching, but because of my teachers’ abrupt absence for months from school I was told I could switch out my 6th period for a virtual class.” 

“So, I switched my last period to now have class through Fulton virtual. This would not have been avaible to me if my class wouldn’t have a teacher for months, which is unfair to students who don’t have that same opportunity but are still struggling in class.” 

How this is affecting student’s mental states 

Last year, I dealt with many mental struggles from having to do school at home and not having the same environment as before. 

This year I am still struggling mentally, and so are many others. However, this year, I am not learning well because of my teachers’ methods. I am a hands-on and visual learner, and some of my current and past teachers might not teach that way. 

My learning struggles have caused my grades to plummet, between the stress of trying to understand the teacher’s material and my parents’ on me for not doing well.  

If a student is struggling, they should switch teachers; being stuck with the same teacher will not help if they are not learning. 

This pie chart shows if students’ mental health was affected by their learning environments. (Credit: Jessie Schwitters)

When asked students how their failing or passing grades affected their mental state, many people stated they experienced higher anxiety and added stress with their grades and parents being hard on them. 

“Now that I was able to switch teachers, although I had to take an online class, I’m learning so much better, my grade has gone up from a 30 to a 56. My gpa has in turn gone up as well which has improved my worries and anxieties.”- Leona Bartolomei (10) 

The positive turn she experienced demonstrates the possible effects switching our teachers could have on our mental well-being and academic career. 

Effective ways to help learn

Due to not being able to switch your teacher, passing can become more complex.  

Here are some things you can do that can help you pass. 

Drew Maddox (10) using her study hall to study math which she has been struggling in. (Credit: Jessie Schwitters)

If a student is struggling in a class, the first step should always be to reach out to your teacher with questions or concerns. Many students come in for helps sessions with either their teacher or a different teacher who teaches the same subject.” Counselor Mrs. Mukenge  

Reaching out to your teacher for help can be hard when you are already having trouble learning from them; however, help sessions do not have to be with your teacher, so what I like to do personally is reach out to other teachers that I think could help me out more. 

Other supplemental resources include online sites like Khan Academy, outside tutors, and student study groups.” 

These are great options, but I recommend getting a group of friends as a study group if you cannot afford outside tutors. Doing this can be especially good if your other friends are learning a lot better than you are.