What do your student’s really do outside of school? Are they lying to you when they say they were busy? Are you over assigning them work for a small timer period in their already busy lives? I’ll give you a rundown of my day, and you can judge for yourself.
Kent Innovation High starts at 6:55, and my bus leaves at 6:30 so I may have an earlier start than your students. I wake up at 6:00, tentatively. Eat my Raisin Bran or maybe Rice Krispies and then set myself up for the day. I have to get dressed, pack my backpack, brush my teeth, and make my hair look semi presentable. All in about 15 minutes.
After that I head out the door, and head up to Northview High School. Then the bus picks us up at promptly 6:30 but we do not leave until 6:35. Our bus ride takes about 15 minutes, but there is no lighting so, I am unable to read on the bus, or do anything really productive.
When I get to Kent Innovation I have my 4 core classes. Being mostly self-directed I have to take the initiative to make sure I do not have work that must be accomplished at home, but that is not always the case. Occasionally I will have a few things to finish at home, but not on a daily basis. (Depending on the class).
We are dismissed from Kent Innovation at 11:30, but my bus does not arrive to bring me back to Northview til 11:45. Again, 15 minutes is really not a lot of time to get anything accomplished. Usually I will take care of any questions or concerns I have with facilitators at this time. Then, it’s another 15 minute ride back to Northview to eat lunch. After lunch, I have two more classes. Health and Spanish. These classes are both traditional style, and sometimes it is hard for me to be entirely engaged. In Spanish we often have take home worksheets and occasionally we will have a larger project due. In Health we have very little homework, but when we do they usually a self directed project. I like this style more, but we have to do them entirely at home and we are not given any direction or feedback.
At 2:35 I get out of school, and then I head over to the middle school down the street to volunteer. I work with a few of my old teachers just to help them get organized and tell them about my experiences at Kent Innovation. I usually leave the middle school at about 3:15, then I head over to Soccer practice. Practice starts at 3:30, so there really is not a lot of time to accomplish anything substantial. Practice then ends at 5 p.m. By then I am exhausted and ready for bed.
Being, the student I am, I am also involved in Marching Band. (Only on Mondays) I head back to the high school for band practice. These practices can last until 9 o’clock or even later, depending on the day.
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays I rush home, grab something to eat, shower and then get prepared to participate in #PBLChat or #MichEd chat. Usually I get ready to go at 7:30 to conjure ideas, and familiarize myself with the topic.
Finally, I finish up any homework I need to either at about 9, and then I am off to bed by 9:45. So, from a student’s standpoint I think that sometimes teachers overload us with homework because they assume that we have more free time than we actually do. I think that the hardest part is time management. I know as soon as hockey or soccer season starts I will be twice as busy. I think that sometimes teachers/facilitators need to be more lenient with dates, but students also need to learn to prioritize. I like how at Northview (and most schools in the country) grades come before sports and other activities. You must have a 2.0 G.P.A currently to be able to participate.
Ask your students. What do they do outside of school? How do they feel about the amount of homework/the activities you assign. You know who is trustworthy, listen to them. Student Voice is key.