Raise Your Voice

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I have cried over homework.

I have spent countless nights taking my math homework out of my bag and working through a few problems only to find myself stuck. I search through my notes, search online and eventually ask a friend for help as I become increasingly frustrated and confused.

Every time, as tears run down my face, I give up, shove my homework in my bag and don’t look at it until the next day in class. I go to bed stressed and hopeless about Algebra C, and that is just one example of the many classes that give us overwhelming amounts of homework.

In class, I struggle to finish the assignment occasionally resulting in tears once again. This is my endless homework cycle.

I’m not alone in this tear stained, emotional cycle. Unfortunately, this common repetitive cycle I find myself trapped in captures many others as well.

The students need a voice, so here I am on full volume.

Stop giving us homework. It is ineffective.

We begin to stress about homework and finishing it. Instead of trying to think through the assignment, we only try to get it done. Homework becomes about points, and we simply complete it so we can keep our grades up. This confidence crushing task creates an unhealthy pattern of students’ putting off homework only to copy it from someone else or rush through it.

Researchers at Stanford agree. Their studies show that at around 2 hours of homework, its benefits become ineffective.

In a survey of students, 26.1 percent said they have 2 or more hours of homework on average per night.

That’s not something we should be proud of.

Stanford’s study found that 56 percent of students view homework as a primary source of stress. Large amounts of homework causes students to miss out on developing other important life skills or pursue their interests. As we stay inside or in our rooms working on homework, we don’t create as strong of relationships and friendships.

Students don’t get the amount of sleep their bodies need. We begin to suffer from other mental and physical health problems.

Some 58 percent of our students report going to sleep at 11 p.m. or later on nights we have homework. That time consumer is unhealthy and unfair to us. Every morning, we wake up tired and when we get to school we remember all the homework we still have to do.

In a 2013 study published by Edutopia, researchers found that students who are assigned too much homework may suffer from severe mental and physical health issues like high stress levels and sleep deprivation.

I woke up with a nagging feeling that I forgot something this morning. I ran through everything I had due today. Nothing came to mind. As I got ready, I remembered everything. I didn’t study for my test, I had some math, I had to read an article.

The problem: That wasn’t just this morning. It was yesterday morning, and the morning before that.

It’s every morning for us. Teachers, I’d love to hear from you about what solutions you may have.

Got an issue you want me to explore? Contact me at [email protected]. I’ll be your voice.