The Mental Reset: Asynchronous Wednesdays


Students’ books – palpable reminders of their work and responsibilities.

Bayla Leibowitz

All across the US, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the schools to modify their systems of teaching students. In order to keep students and teachers safe, there is very little in-person learning. Not so rare for the times we are in, a day of school at West End Secondary is completely online.  

Initially, students were attending their classes on Zoom calls, logging onto about six or seven calls a day. Zoom is needed for other purposes outside academics too, like clubs.  Our days are filled with screen time the length of a school day. It is extremely tiring for students to sit on Zoom all day in addition to completing homework after their “school” day ends.  We need a mental break. 

After the issue of extensive time spent on Zoom was acknowledged by the WESS staff, asynchronous Wednesdays were established. Every Asynchronous Wednesday is a day where students do not have any academic classes.  Instead,  teachers assign work to Google Classroom for students to complete that day. 

Crew meetings still happen, and art and music are held on Wednesdays as well.  

Another benefit of asynchronous Wednesdays is office hours. During designated times, students can speak one-on-one with teachers about the work in their class and catch up on anything they are struggling with. 

Asynchronous Wednesdays have been very positive for students throughout the high school. 

Eleventh grader Adriana Mujovic enjoys the asynchronous format.

“I think it’s effective because it lets students work through assignments one by one as opposed to during a specific window of class time and having to circle back to it later,” Mujovic said. “We could also do the work before or after the school day if possible so that we can prioritize other things or get it out of the way.” 

Other students, like Junior Rory Ichelson, share these sentiments. 

“It’s an easy way to catch up on missed work and a nice break from Zoom,” Ichelson stated. 

Fortunately for students, teachers have been very understanding of anyone falling behind on work and struggling academically during this time. We can all agree that working and learning from home is a battle with distractions.  Asynchronous Wednesdays are a great opportunity for students to catch up on their classwork 

Eleventh grader Nina Pappas, also in eleventh grade, looks forward to the break that asynchronous Wednesdays provide. 

“I look forward to asynchronous Wednesdays because it’s nice to take a break in the middle of the week,” Pappas said. “It is really tiring to sit through Zoom classes for many hours so this really helps me mentally.” 

Wednesdays are a reward for students. It is important that teachers are giving students these days to focus on their mental health, an issue that has been brought up now more than ever as we try our best to wake up every morning of this pandemic. The WESS community is very supportive when it comes to the well-being of all of their students and it means a lot to the student body when teachers work to accommodate them. 

Teachers have also benefited from asynchronous Wednesdays. They can catch up on work and focus on their own mental health. Whether you are a student or a teacher, we are all in this together. 

Overall, asynchronous Wednesdays have been very helpful for the teachers and students at WESS students. We can all get on top of our work and take some time to rejuvenate. The addition of asynchronous Wednesdays has made an impact on WESS’s community by showing the students and teachers that even in a time like this, the community can come together to value each others’ needs.