The totally normal student support period

What+are+students+actually+doing+during+student+support%3F+Who+knows%2C+but+it%27s+certainly+not+a+massive+underground+video+games+competition.

Illustration by Jay Warren

What are students actually doing during student support? Who knows, but it’s certainly not a massive underground video games competition.

Wyatt Golla, Staff Writer

Nothing at all is happening in student support. Nope, not a single thing. Ever. 

Everyone knows what student support is. A time to get in contact with your teachers.

A time for work and discussion. Or just an extra 30 minutes for lunch. 

Who knows what someone is doing behind that avatar of John Cena while you are working? It’s one of life’s greatest mysteries. 

Due to this whole pandemic fiasco we need to attend school remotely, and there was a gaping need for a little bit of one-on-one time between teachers and students, similar to tutorial back in the day. From the beginning it was made so students and teachers could identify problems and address them. 

“This time is meant for teachers to support students through small groups, tutoring, social environment learning, office hours, or any other way a student may need support,” wrote the San Ramon Valley Unified School District in a slideshow presentation given at the Aug. 4 Board of Education meeting. 

So it’s pretty evident that this is to be taken pretty seriously and is to be used as said.

“While it’s not very well defined, I would like to use this time to talk to students or have parent-teacher conferences,” math teacher Javier Olguin said.

Other Cal High staff agree. 

“Yes, I like the idea of student support,” P.E teacher Cary Willson said. “It allows students to get support from other classes.” 

So it seems that a few teachers like the idea of student support, and for good reason. It’s very akin to a tutorial period and allows students free time to do homework that they might not have in other classes. A few students agree with them in that aspect. 

“I feel like we have just enough time in tutorial to do our work,” freshman Rubin Jain said. “Though a lot of students are on their phones.”

Unfortunately there’s not a lot a teacher can do about that. It’s nearly impossible to find out what students are actually doing when you can’t see them, but it’s probably nothing harmful or irresponsible. Like Jain said, they are probably just on their phones.

“Most students are probably using this time wisely,” junior Kevin Chen said.  “Student support makes the schedule a bit weird in my opinion but it’s generally pretty OK.” 

So it’s entirely up to the students how they work in student support. 

“I don’t think that many people use their time wisely because there is no way for the teacher to really moderate what students are doing,” junior Alex Ogata said. “But in the end I think it’s up to the students to independently decide what they use that time for.”

It also seems like some parents and students are a bit fed up with student support. On the thoughtexchange.com survey the district conducted, one of the three major complaints from students was that they have to stay on Zoom during student support. 

It’s not hard to tell that this issue is taken seriously by students. The student support option was up there on the list with problems such as students having too much screen time and a lack of breaks.

This doesn’t mean that students hate student support, but sometimes they don’t need it. Or maybe support is just a distraction from the student video game tournament.

So it seems that the slightly underwhelming truth is that people see student support as being pretty useful. It also looks like there is no underground video game competition going on during student support, much to everyone’s chagrin. 

But hey, just because there hasn’t been anything extraordinary during the student support period doesn’t mean there never will be. Who knows, there could be a secret society who meet during this time, unbeknownst to the rest of the school. 

Another one of life’s greatest mysteries.