Thursday, September 21, 2006

Early in the Morning

While driving to school the other morning, I passed a number of students standing out in the Pacific Northwest's rain. I had gotten a late start, and so I was able to see the huddled masses as I passed by.
Today, I read this article detailing a "flex" plan for school start time. For the third year in a row, I am teaching seniors first period, or 7:30 a.m. And, now that school is in its third week, the tardiness is fianlly becoming the norm.
I'd like to see our students start school later. I don't believe that it would solve the tardiness issue, but I certainly believe that more students would be on time and paying attention.
In my college years, my first class was not until 8 a.m. my freshman year. After that, I didn't take a class that started before 9 a.m. I wonder what effect a later start time would have on learning?


At 8:05 PM , Blogger Dan Edwards said...

This will be a rambling, thinking out loud post..... First of all, I think a later starting time would be better for high school and maybe junior high students. But in reality, how rooted is an early (8am) starting time for schools? Changing it would disrupt parent schedules, after school music lessons, sports practices/games, computer chat time, etc. etc. And I wonder, if a 10th grader didn't have to be at school until 9am, would they still go to bed any earlier? Considering the "nature of the beast," probably not.

But, have high schools tried having classes from 3-4 pm? IMO, too much of school scheduling revolves around non-academic stuff.....particularly sports.

At 11:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, you probably won't like the comment but here it is -

Aren't we suppose to be trying to get these young folks prepared for the adult world? News Flash, in the adult world work does start at 7:00AM, in some jobs even before that. When I was in college I had some classes that started at 7:00AM (sometimes it was the ONLY section that still had seats left). IMHO, we coddle the youth WAY too much, instead of insulating them, let us teach them the ways of that wicked adult world that they will be joining shortly.

At 12:04 PM , Blogger Mr. McNamar said...

While I agree that we should be preparing them for the "adult world," I've recently been thinking that they are not actually adults yet. I do agree that we coddle them, but at 14-18 years of age, is proper rest more important than the "real world" that should still be quite far off?

At 6:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well as most research shows, melatonin in teenagers specifically is more violent and much more active than adults or children. It's not about coddling youth, it's about simple biology. Melatonin MAKES people fall asleep, and it starts at 10-11 roughly every night and doesn't cease it's reaction until 8 a.m. every day.
So some may think we're just preparing them for the "adult world", we're really just making them struggle in what should be the funnest years of their lives. Besides when these teens who are NOT adults, become adults, the meltonin will calm down and 7:00 am won't sound so horrendous.
So we're not really "insulating" teens as you put it, we're simply agreeing with biology.

At 9:36 AM , Blogger Wonderfulthang said...

In my opinion, the school day is nowhere near long enough. School teaching hours should start at 8am and end at 3pm with two half an hour breaks for breakfast and lunch (9.30 and 1.30). The teaching staffs' day ends here. And so the recreational staff begin their shift. After a short break, from 3.15-6pm there should be mandatory afterschool sporting/creative activities. This gives parents enough time to get to and from work in time to spend the evening with their children.

Young people are a focal point for poor discipline these days, particulary in urban districts. I believe we adults should be laying the foundations of self-efficacy to prepare them for adult lives. This means being motivated to succeed at their responsibilities. As adults we face a plethora of barriers and constricting situations and I feel that young people are lulled into a false sense of security.

It's high time the adult nation took back the control. I'm not talking about the return of the cane, I'm talking about showing the youth of our nation that the power is in being an adult, not a child.

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