Bee Vang

Ap Eng & Comp Lit

Mr. Shipmen period 4

18 November 2015

Extending School Hours

Not all students are prepared for high school.

Every day I enter school without being fully prepared for my classes. The fast paced lessons and class activity does not make it any better. Often times I would lag behind in most of the class lessons because the lectures are rather confusing. In order to stay current I re-teach myself at home. This leads to massive amount of studying with stress level rising.

It is just not me that is having these kinds of troubles. I hear complaints from friends and classmates surrounding me. A friend of mine in particular who I don’t see often now use to have so much energy; most time, hyper. When I have the chance to see her I always make sure to tell her to worry about her health. Every week she losses at least ten hours of sleep. Other students don’t go to that extreme, but staying later than 10 p.m. trying to catch up with assignments is still considered very unhealthy.

To prevent students from staying past their bedtime, school hours needs to be extended.

In school classes goes at a rigorous pace considering that a class only have about an hour long lesson and there are about seven classes to go to before the day ends. Noting that about six out of seven classes will give out homework. The pressure comes from the homework they are expected to be due in an amount of time that students won’t be able to handle. Marc Brackett, a researcher in the Yale University Department of Psychology said this, “It’s hard to concentrate and it’s hard to do well in school if your brain is constantly having to respond to stress.” If students were to be given more time in class they will be able to have the chance to actually apply what they learn in class, do their homework and ask for more clarifications. When students understand the materials better, less homework will be given and more time will be created. So when morning comes the student’s puffy eyes will definitely turn to a downtrend.

When taking minorities who are still wrestling with English into account, this makes the issue more problematic. According to the article “American Students Who Struggle With English Outnumber Kids Born Abroad” written by Mikhail Zinshteyn, he put much emphasizes on the increase of Ells students in the United States during the twentieth first century. Zinshteyn used the Migration Policy Institute’s Jeanne Batalova research that uses 2012 Census data and the 2013 U.S. Department of Education Data to form an analyze, stating that the growing population of Ells students are born in the United States. This becomes a bigger problem for Ells students because when these students fail to get properly educated, without the essential knowledge school will be a lot harder for them as they accelerate through grade levels.

Struggling students faces more than is expected, at home most students does not have access to academic resources, thus it is important to lie it on school. Jeanne Batalova, referenced in the article mentioned above said, “Coming from families who are limited-English proficient affects the trajectory, both the academic and English language acquisition, of children born into these families.” The large group of students who inevitably fails to learn the language English naturally loses advantages. Although school does provide a learning environment for students to practice their comprehension and communication skills, there was never enough time for teachers to really put enough focus into helping their known as Ells student. When teachers blast through their lessons, the only hope is that their students are understanding the material that is being taught. But that is not the case when time is so limited. So, when the students get stuck, they procrastinate, or to the extreme, give up.

Without a doubt it is hard on those that are academically or financially disadvantaged. It is better appropriate for students to spend most of their time at school than at home. Schools provide a diverse set of young children, so they can learn from each other. Most importantly the teacher is there. Teachers are the one that can provide the best benefit for all student, because they know the material best. At home, all those things are unreachable, actually with today’s technology it can, but it is not the best service. It is rather frustrating. The best learning method comes from the human presence.

However, the idea of extending the school hours may not be agreeable because it will not be beneficial for those that are already strongly competitive in school. But this idea should not jump ahead of itself. Although competent students may be doing better compared to the disadvantaged students they too still have a lot of catching up to make to their overseas counterparts. According to an article called, “American School vs the World: Expensive, Unequal, Bad at Math” written by Julia Ryan stated, “Massachusetts, which is a high-achieving U.S. state and which averaged above the national PISA score, is still two years of formal schooling behind Shanghai.” So Massachusetts represents the clever students in the United States, but what if they were to sit next to a class in Shanghai will the be able to perform their school work with flexibility? Probably not.

Going back if teachers were to give students enough time to do their assignment at home, without the students full understanding of the work they learned in class they will still procrastinate. Like those times when I convince myself to do my homework on Friday night but it end up to do it on Sunday afternoon because just thinking about the lessons that I don’t understand hurts my brain. I believe that all students have amazing ideas to contribute, but if they have to struggle at the most unexpected time, they loses motivation. School has the power to help change lives, to help educate students to make better choices, to help students expand their minds, to help students to compete in the most unexpected, challenging and most competitive world out there. Giving more time to students in class (not at home), making the use of class more meaningful can lead students in a way that will limit the amount of stress that they carry on our shoulders.

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