Holiday time! The time to be with your loved ones, spend time at home, and relax. Well, all but students. Every single year Christmas rolls along and students and teachers are released from their imprisonment for two weeks. But the break is anything but relaxing for most students. Homework, projects, and studying never cease. Yet, teachers still give keep giving.
But why? Is there a benefit to having work over vacation? According to a Duke University study in the early 2000s, homework can be beneficial for students. But too much of it can have harmful effects on them such as fatigue and stress. Harris Cooper said in his study, “even for high school students, overloading them with homework is not associated with higher grades.”
And yet, teachers still give heavy workloads. The assumption of many teenagers is that teachers enjoy giving work and relish in the fact that they can see us suffer while they enjoy their time off. Malerie Keenan, a junior at BMHS, shares in this common thought among teens. “I don’t think that it’s fair that we get homework on break, especially because we spend, like, seven and a half hours to eight hours every single day at school.” And she’s right, in certain aspects. Everyone needs a break from school, that’s what weekends and vacations exist for, right? But teachers come along and squander that hope for some kind of break from the daily battle we have when going to class.
What about teachers though? Do they all really agree with giving homework over breaks? Mrs. Prescott, a teacher here at Brien McMahon, says something most teens agree with. “I believe that it’s a break for all of us and that I think that it’s important that everyone takes some time to rest their mind and enjoy time with their friends a family.” Mr. Sgarlata agrees with her statement. He says “Sometimes, depending on what needs to get done. Typically no but if something needs to be done then there is some homework sometimes.”
Midterms are also another reason why students are so stressed about the holidays. They always blame the teachers for giving them stuff to study and then take time away from relaxing. But they have their reasons. “I would love if we could finish it before break,” Mrs. Dombrowski said. “But I think they do it at the actual half point of the year so it’s sort of robbing you of a few weeks of preparation if they do it so much earlier.”
So it really isn’t the teachers being demons or really much of their own choice when they do give it. They, like us, have deadlines to hit too. It all deals with deadlines they have no control over. The break is meant to be a time to relax and having homework can be hypocritical, but don’t blame your teachers, they’re doing their best to make sure you’re successful without all the stress.