Put a brake on homework during break


Caroline Raps

Staff Writer Henry Antino argues that teachers should not assign homework over vacation as students are not given a chance to truly relax.

Henry Antino, Staff Writer

As the bell rings to end my seventh period class and begin winter break I can feel a weight lifted off my shoulders and my stress disappear. However, it all comes rushing back upon checking Canvas and seeing homework assigned the second day after we return to school. As my “vacation” continues, I find myself checking my to-do list and seeing those assignments like a ghost haunting me.

A few years ago a rule was implemented prohibiting teachers from assigning homework during breaks from school. The idea was to give students a break from the stress, not week-long homework sprees. The rule was received with cheers from students but some teachers have used loopholes or ignored the rule entirely. 

Breaks from school are supposed to be just that, a break. If teachers assign homework or projects over break, students might not have to get up as early but they are still feeling the stress of school. By implementing this rule, administration took a powerful step towards reducing the overall stress put on students, but if teachers start to move around the rule it loses its power quickly. 

With anything in life, excess is unhealthy and breaks are necessary. Working students to the bone without rest will result in them looking for ways out of doing work. If students are given a chance to relax they will come back to school energized and more prepared to learn which in the long run will make the time we spend not on break more efficient.

Do you think homework should be assigned over break?

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Although your AP teacher might insist that you will forget what you’ve learned if you don’t keep up during break, a 2017 article by Youki Terada in Edutopia outlines a number of strategies, including integrating past material into every unit to ensure material is not forgotten and emphasizes that breaks in learning shouldn’t damage understanding. And if students are forgetting what they were taught over the span of fourteen days or fewer, did they ever really learn it in the first place?

At the end of the day this is about teachers understanding their students and how they are feeling. Teachers’ jobs are more complicated than simply presenting information. They help young adults learn how to navigate the world through work ethic and stress management. Allowing students to relax for a few weeks out of the year is one example of how teachers can continue to support us. If teachers continue to ignore the rule, students will be less focused and put less effort into assignments both during and after breaks.