Reasons and Solutions: Why Students Need Shorter Days
In our modern world of education, the average student ranging from all grades and ages go through a school day of seven to seven and a half hours.
Although these hours are thought to be such a short period of time, they are the motive for high stress within teens, as well as the loss of valuable sleep and the deterioration of education. Popular in controversy, is this 7 hour time span necessary, and more importantly, what are its effects on our children and teens? Widely seen in all schools across the country are children, specifically teens, deliberately skipping school because of the high stress and anxiety levels as effects to the length of the school day. Marlborough High School Principal Mary Carlson’s “biggest concern was that of stress and suicide.” As she continued, she reported that results showed that 16 percent of her students have considered suicide, with another 70 percent informing that they are stressed out. “That concerns me immensely. I think stress is one of the issues,” she concluded (CYC).
With that being said, often students acquire so much stress that the thought ends up generating students to care less about school, which eventually leads to decreasing grades as well as crumbling determination and anticipation for their futures. “Long school hours put much pressure on students. We may tend to slack off which could be harmful for their education in the long run. In classes now, the lesson usually doesn’t start until about ten minutes into the period, once the students have settled into their places,” according to the Huffington Post. In reality, it takes approximately ten minutes for teachers to begin their classes once the bell has rung, adding on to unnecessary time that is being occupied. Contributing to the stress of the day, a wide amount of students, including younger ages, are consumed with a variety of after-school activities including clubs, jobs, and sports that extinguish plenty of time and hours.
After a complete and laborious day of school and activities, students then come home to more uncompleted homework, which is also very time-consuming. Even if they complete their homework while half-asleep, what about the studying? During the exhaustion of the day, the brain does not function completely, therefore not focusing and not able to absorb information by studying in an efficient manner. Children between the ages of 12 to 18 need at least eight hours of sleep each night, and in some cases, sometimes even nine. In addition, numerous schools begin at around 7:30-8:30. From research, only about 8 percent of teens report optimal sleep, and the majority (69 percent) report insufficient sleep (Opposing Viewpoints). According to Smithsonian Magazine, in the documentary a Race to Nowhere, the realistic struggles of our modern schools are explained.
“‘I can’t remember the last time I had the chance to go in the backyard and just run around,’ a teenage girl laments in the film. ‘I’ve gone through bouts of depression’ from too much homework, another confesses. A bewildered-looking third girl says: ‘I would spend six hours a night on my homework.'” (Smithsonian Magazine) With that being stated, it is nearly impossible to go through a complete day of school, after-school activities, homework, and studying while still receiving the necessary amount of sleep during the night. As a result from not receiving efficient sleep, students are not able to be alert and knowledgeable during lessons in school, which weakens their education and learning as a whole. As a solution to this well-recognized concern, the length of a school day should be altered for numerous reasons.
As for a major point, by shortening the school days, students would have the ability to manage their time conveniently by having more to use for other essential activities such as clubs, jobs, and sports. In addition, by reducing the time, students wouldn’t be as distressed and uninterested about going to school, meaning that grades would raise a significant amount. What are the options and exactly how much should be removed, though? By supplying a still reasonable and manageable time to learn, one solution would include removing the 10 minutes from each class that is not used, creating shorter periods. On the other hand, one unessential class, such as electives, from each student’s schedule could be removed to lessen the school days, leaving each class period with corresponding times. “A report last year from the National School Boards Association’s Center for Public Education disputed the notion that American schools have fallen behind in classroom time, pointing out that students in high-performing countries like South Korea, Finland and Japan actually spend less time in school than most U.
S. students,” according to FOX News. With this being said, a decrease in time would be for the best interest of education. Fewer school hours per day would authorize students to have enough time to study, complete school assignments and homework, associate in after-school activities and sports, by also allowing enough time to get to bed by a decent hour. In conclusion, the simple idea and elucidation of slashing of only a small and worthless amount of time during the school day would leave no harm to either students or the adults of our modern society.
By doing so, it would deteriorate the health of our children by lessening the nerve-racking stress and increasing the time for sleep, while providing support for more time for after-school activities, such as clubs, jobs, and athletics, which hold the equal amount of importance.