Assigned Reading: A Hallowed Pastime With A Tenuous Future

Lukas Luna, Co-Copy Editor

Like every other department, Downey High’s English teachers have faced the challenge of trying to adapt their assignments and lessons to this strange era of this distance learning. But while essays and writing prompts have enjoyed a smooth transition, the staple of English classrooms everywhere that is assigned reading faces a far more interesting challenge. 


The obvious challenge to assigned reading during a pandemic is easily book availability, as instructors can no longer hand out novels in class. Despite this set back, many teachers remain optimistic about finding a way forward. Mrs. Bean, one such teacher, firmly believes that she and others in her department can use digital forms of reading to allow students to discover new novels even during these uncertain times. 


“For our class reading, it’s really about gathering and being able to provide you guys reading online…” Bean said. “It’s about flexibility and I think that English teachers have done an amazing job, I’ve been in contact with so many of them.” 


While teachers like Mrs. Bean are putting much faith into online sources, many students are willing to acquire physical copies on their own. Senior Isabella Diaz has no issues about getting books herself.  


“We will have to obtain the books ourselves, which does not seem like too big an issue with site[s] like Amazon.” Diaz said. “It is just more convenient to get them from your teacher, but getting them myself is not a problem.” 


Despite the unexpected limitations placed on English classrooms due to COVID-19, most classes seem to be forging ahead just fine. While distance learning necessitates a shift towards more independent reading some, like senior Ryan Rumbolz welcome the change. 


“With online learning, I believe the reading will be more independent than before,” Rumbolz said. “I do not mind, I think independent reading is fun.” 


PDFs for books that are likely to be assigned this year can be found below.