By Chris Acampora and Kristen Plahn
In December, students were given the gift of no homework assignments on Tuesdays. But, was this a rip-off? Tuesdays in December are limited and that makes homework-free days hard to come by. If the school system wishes to continue with “No Homework Tuesdays,” as they are dubbed, then they should consider having more than the two half days in December that we had this year. The combo of a half day with no homework almost creates a day off, a day that is free to do things with friends and family.
Superintendent Matthew Ferron started “No Homework Tuesdays” across the district this past December to give students “family time.” But the policy actually reduced it. Because of Tuesday’s lack of homework, many teachers gave homework on the weekend to make up for it. The weekends are prime time for being with family; a Tuesday, not so much. In addition, “No Homework Tuesdays” could actually be counterproductive, and increase student workload. If you look at the five Tuesdays we had in December, you might realize that Christmas break was one week and some teachers gave homework during the first week in the month which. That reduced our “No Homework Tuesdays” to a mere three days. Since Tuesdays are mid week, teachers who can’t assign homework that day just push plans back a day. If there are five school days in a week, and only four days to give homework, where does the last one go? The weekend.
A possible solution to this dilemma is a “Work-free Weekend” policy in the month of December. This would benefit teachers as much as their students. Students are going to put more effort into homework on the weekday, rather than the weekend, where most homework can be rushed through late Sunday night or early Monday morning. This means teachers will have a higher success rate on homework, increasing test grades and students’ final grades. It’s truly a win-win for teachers, because it gives students and teachers more family time. Teachers also can move ahead with teaching with a full week available, rather than feeling they have to skip Tuesday nights.
We propose the idea that, in the 2016-2017 school year, “No Homework Tuesdays” are replaced with the “Work-free Weekends in the Month of December” policy. This idea will benefit students and teachers simultaneously, making the busy month of December better for all. We hope this idea is seriously considered by administration as a viable option for the student body next school year.