November 4, 2013

Lachlan McDowell

Now, when you hear that phrase, the floods, what comes to mind, giant, tsunami like waves demolishing everything in their path. Now, that’s not what I’m talking about here, not the deadly crashing walls of water, I’m talking about those giant, freedom crushing walls of paper, that descend upon you just as the term is coming to an end.

Now, when you think homework, during the early years of high school, 7, 8 and 9, what comes to mind? In my experience it goes like this. For three quarters of each term, you receive a small amount of homework, maybe 20 minutes on an average night, with a little bit of extra revision if a test is on the horizon or if you didn’t put any effort in during class. Then suddenly, as you enter the final stretch of the term, in first period you are told that in around two or three weeks you will have to put together some sort of essay or presentation or poster, it’s doable in two weeks with about twenty extra minutes work each night, but then in second period your given the exact same thing, an assignment, and then in third, and then in fourth, until you have five or six assignment due all in the same week.

Now I have only experienced up to the middle years of high school, but from what I have heard, it only gets worse. Now, the issue is that to get all of these projects in on time, you need maybe two and a half to three hours of homework each night, and that number will only get higher as you progress through the school.

This can be especially tough for those students who desperately want an A for every assignment, who usually work from the second their foot enters the house, to the time they lay their head down to their pillow, to try and get this in to a high standard on time, with some students staying up to one AM in the morning for the “finishing touches”. It is also really tough for a student who has extracurricular activities, because it is simply impractical for someone to fit all of this homework in and still have the energy to go sprint around the oval 10 times in training and then have to play football and get slammed into the mud because they lost their focus due to sleep deprivation.

The simple issue is that if a student wants any real form of sleep, then something is probably going to have to be handed in late, and often the student’s decision on which project will clash with their parents own aspirations for their children.

The main reason this ramble exists is to bring up the issue that all teachers need to in some way coordinate the homework they hand out, so that they aren’t killing their students under the workload.

– Lachlan McDowell

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