Leanna Harris ‘18: High school will never be easy. Between classes, homework, extracurricular activities, work and a social life, students have little to no free time. Most students hear that junior year is crucial to post-high school education.
Junior year offers most Advanced Placement classes and students start preparing for the SAT or ACT, Workkeys, and MSTEP testing. Knowing that those standardized tests could determine whether or not a student gets into their dream college, these lengthy assessments add to the juniors’ stress. Some prioritize by taking AP classes and earning college credit ahead of time, while others become overwhelmed and fall behind. The difficulty and raised stakes of the new classes culminate to an incredible amount of stress on students’ shoulders.
Along with high school classes, juniors begin to think about college. Many juniors go on college visits in hopes of finding a college that fits them. With the majority of college recommendation letters coming from students’ 11th grade teachers, forming positive relationships with teachers is just as important as doing well in class.
Romeo High School’s class of 2018 is half way through their first semester, and tensions are high. Most students either took an Algebra II, Precalculus, or TAPS class for their math credit, English 11 or AP Language and Composition for their English credit, Chemistry or Physics for their science credit, and a Civics/Economics or AP Government class for their history credit. Two optional electives offer a bit of respite from the workload, but some students choose to double up on core classes for more potential college credit.
Students generally agree that they have an unreasonable amount of homework. Many teachers tend not to consider other classes when assigning homework.
Nina Iafrate ‘18 said that her most challenging class is Precalculus.
“I probably get around a half and hour of homework in precalc every night,” Iafrate said. “But I could spend up to two hours on all of my homework for a single day.”
Students need anywhere from 8.5 to 10 hours of sleep according to www.helpguide.org, but many students agree that they often stay up much later than what would be necessary to get adequate sleep in order to accommodate for homework.
“They expect us to put in all of our effort in an unrealistic amount of time,” Iafrate said. “They expect it to be all right the first time and it’s a lot of work and stress on us.”
Grace Konnie ‘18 agrees with Iafrate that Precalculus is her most difficult class. Konnie claims that she gets at least 20 problems of homework per night, if not more. Konnie completes her homework for the next day in class, but she feels overwhelmed with the amounts of homework assigned.
“I understand why teachers give homework but not at the rate and quantity in which they give it,” Konnie said. “I spend 40 minutes in their class each day and am expected to go home and do homework for almost that same amount of time for just one class. I just feel that with six classes the amount of homework given is unrealistic and unreasonable considering I have a job, family and social life.”
Hannah Simpson ‘18 also agrees.
“I think it would be unfair to say that every teacher gives us an unfair amount of homework,” Simpson said. “But some teachers seem to forget that we have 5 other classes in addition to theirs.”
This is a plea from students to teachers. Students know that homework is inevitable. We will have it regardless of the circumstances. However, a little leniency for students that are juggling school, work, extracurricular activities and their family would be extremely helpful. Students understand that curriculum forces teachers to assign homework, but being punished for not having a complete understanding of each and every problem assigned, tends to stress students out, especially those who prioritize their grades. Having less than an A for some students is the end of the world. Teachers, please understand that students are trying their hardest to balance the crazy schedule of a high schooler.