We asked Cheyenne Victor, one of our online students, how she structures her school day.
Cheyenne Victor is a Grade 12 high school student and joined Teneo Online School three years ago at the start of Grade 10.
She is a keen photographer and her Instagram feed is filled with wildlife photos taken in the veld. No wonder, then, that she is going to do a three-year course that combines marine guiding with game-ranging, to pursue her love of wildlife and nature as a career.
As Cheyenne heads towards her matric exams, we asked her about her experience at Teneo and how she structures her school days.
What a school day looks like for Cheyenne
Cheyenne moved to Teneo at the start of her Grade 10 year and registered in Teneo’s live School that has a daily programme of live lessons.
Let’s take a look at what a typical school day looks like for Cheyenne:
6:30 am: Wake up.
7:00 am: Dress, breakfast and get ready.
7.30 am: Go to sit at my desk, open my calendar on Teneo and put on music to relax.
7:35 – 7:55 am: Listen to music and jot down important things to do that day.
8:00 am: Attend the first class of the day.
2:15 pm: School’s out!
3 – 4 pm: Go to gym or relax and prepare for the next day.
9 pm: Bedtime.
“Then I start all over again at 6:30 the next morning,” she says.
This timetable evolved as Cheyenne learnt what didn’t work for her. “I don’t think students who are new to online schooling realise it is a strain on your eyes to be in front of a computer all day. When I started at Teneo, I’d be in front of my laptop all the time and didn’t allow myself to take breaks. Although it looks as if I still sit at my desk from 7:30 am until 2:15 pm, I’ve learnt that I have to go outside every now and then to rest my eyes.”
She says she really does go to bed at nine o’clock: “If I don’t get a good night’s sleep, the next day is really tough.” For her, that’s part of the discipline needed to make a success of online schooling.
Flexibility combined with discipline makes all the difference to the online learning experience
She first saw how online schooling works when visiting a friend during Covid lockdown and therefore had an idea of what to expect: “And yet I was surprised by the extent to which I could determine my own schedule with a routine that works for me.”
“As much as we have timetables, I decide what to do during those periods when I don’t have lessons,” Cheyenne explains. “Most of the time I’d use them to do assignments, but it does break up my day and allow me more free time than I had had in my previous bricks-and-mortar school. I also use this time to chat with friends and have lunch.
“But even so, I have to bite the bullet and accept that I still am in school. You’re forced to be disciplined in an online environment. If you don’t, you won’t get far.”
Much as she understands the importance of discipline, her experience of online schooling has allowed her to fit school into her family’s lifestyle and timetable. Her father works in Zambia where Cheyenne now lives. In the past, his leave didn’t coincide with her school holidays and she either had to either miss out on a family holiday or on school. Now she can do both.
Being in an online eschool also allows her to pursue her photography. “I sell my photographs which I take on our trips to Namibia and Botswana. There is a photo of me with my tablet, attending school while out in the veld.”