Homework comes home for Thanksgiving

Many students will have Thanksgiving dinner at a setting similar to this. However, there may be an uninvited guest at your Thanksgiving dinner: homework.

By danielhallpresentsdotcom - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29894050

Many students will have Thanksgiving dinner at a setting similar to this. However, there may be an uninvited guest at your Thanksgiving dinner: homework.

Alexander Howe

A minority of teachers are ignoring the Homework Policy in order to keep to their planned schedule. Personally, I don’t have assignments forced upon me due on the day back from break, but I do have English reading due the Tuesday after break.

In an ideal world, no Jefferson student gets any homework over the three main breaks of the school year–Thanksgiving, Winter Break, and Spring Break. By not giving students homework, teachers would allow students to have a relaxing break instead of grinding out homework assignments for four days. Now, this is not an ideal world, so some students will have some homework to do. In my opinion, we should strive to get as close to this ideal world as possible because students should not have homework over breaks.

However, a few teachers feel that they need to assign work over the break. Maybe they cannot afford for their rigorous schedule to suffer the loss of a weekend, or their class is just behind. Breaks such as Thanksgiving also are good times to give homework, considering how students tend to forget what they learned in school over breaks. In theory, giving students homework over breaks would help them remember how to do what they had done in class.

Unfortunately, students don’t work like that. First, many students procrastinate, and thus, because they start the work late, they would not be able to remember how to do the work. Another point of consideration is that a break is supposed to provide rest to those who need it, not provide more stress. A student is a human, not a homework-churning machine–they need rest in order to learn. While students could report infractions of the Homework Policy to administrators, nothing seems to come from doing so, and I haven’t heard of anyone even reporting a teacher anyways.

There are a few solutions to the problem of students having homework over break. One option is to revise the Student Advocacy Guidelines. Administrators could add a punishment for not following the policy. However, this could cause teachers to not have enough money to pay the expenses, and could lead to many bad consequences for the teacher. Another method is to remove the incentive for teachers to give homework. This could be done by structuring classes to not condense all the material into eight months of class time, and rather spreading it out. Considering that school starts two weeks earlier next year, this is probably the most feasible option. Teachers could also only have homework assigned the week of Thanksgiving only be due during that week.

While giving students homework over a break may help them remember what they were doing in school, it integrates school into daily life too much — after all, having tons of homework makes home feel like school away from school. Homework effectively makes a designated break just another long weekend. After all, if all you are doing is schoolwork over a weekend, then could you even call it a break?