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My Declaration of Independence from Unnecessary and Gratuitous Homework, The opportunities the American education system has provided to me, my peers, and my parents before me have bettered our lives immeasurably. The opinion of many officials in the system is that rigor amounts to success in a future setting, but it is crucial to consider the counteractive effects of such work assigned to the students of today. All people, including youths, are entitled to more out of life than toil and drudgery; students should be capable of enjoying leisurely and extracurricular activities while still having the ability to complete all assigned work and responsibilities at home. The work assigned to students, especially take-home work, can be considered necessary under the following conditions: completing the whole assignment will give the student a better understanding of the topic; the student has been given a fair amount of time to complete the assignment while still meeting the expectations of the instructor; working on this assignment will not hinder the student’s ability to fulfill their duties outside of the classroom. It has been my personal experience as a student at Rowland High School that many of the assignments given to me do not meet these qualifications and can be classified as unnecessary or “busy work”. It is necessary for teachers to be able to estimate how much time the work they sanction will take to be efficiently completed. I would like to clarify that no matter how enriching a homework assignment can be if it absorbs more of a student’s time than it should, it can be considered nothing more than an annoyance.
Though I dislike being forced to work on such assignments during school hours, rather I should be doing productive work instead, I would be spending that time doing some type of work, whether it’s making me a better-educated person or not. I am, however, offended upon being asked to dispose of my own free time at home to waste energy on unnecessary homework. The result of such a hindrance creates issues, many of which my fellow students can relate to. The unnecessary homework I am recurrently given has disturbed my sleeping patterns by forcing me to stay up into the late hours of the night in order for its quality to meet the standards of my teachers. This type of homework has taken away time from me that I could be using to train and rehearse as a member of the cheer team, making it difficult to exercise as often as I need and forcing me to work harder during scheduled practices since I would be pressed for time to strengthen my abilities at home. This type of homework has made it impossible to give attention to my disheveled room, a place in which it would be beneficial to my mental health if the items in there were orderly and manageable. This type of homework has sullied my opinion of my accumulated school experience, making it difficult to enjoy the benefits I have availed. The previously mentioned reasons for eradicating busy work from my daily commissions are recognizable to many of my peers, but there are many specific examples of such inconveniences I can recall since the commencement of my high school career. Here are but a few examples:
Although I have experienced innumerable inconveniences as a result of the homework assigned to me during my time as a student in Mr. Koyfman’s Pre-Calculus class, one of the most memorable occurred on the first day of my freshman year in which I was forced to stay up until one o’clock in the morning to complete my homework, as a result, the content on the homework not being sufficiently elucidated in class beforehand; As the cheer squad prepared for our previous homecoming routine, each of us were expected to go home and practice, a feat made difficult for me since so much my time at home was spent completing assignments from earlier in the day; I have unfortunately acquired many word searches throughout my career as a student which have seldom been relevant to my lessons, however, I was perplexed by the audacity of my normally lovely and respectable Spanish teacher to assign her class a version with vocabulary composed of Spanish names, an immense category, lacking a list of these names; I enjoy ready immensely but there are limitations to how much one should be assigned to read, for example, I was expected to read a 300 page novel in only a weekend, not an impossible task, but it was made difficult by the fact that I was only in elementary school and had many plans over the next few days that would diminish possible reading time. I have considered if it would be valid to give students such vexatious work in certain situations as long as each individual can be offered extended due dates to accommodate their schedules. But, it would be asinine for teachers to have to go through the feat of organizing work turned into them at different times; more efficiency would result for both teachers and students if none of this work is given to begin with. As I previously mentioned, there is a belief that rigor amounts to success, but this has been proved to not necessarily be the case.
In Finland, not only are students in school for less time than most other first world countries, their students are given almost no homework whatsoever while still performing excellently by the time they reach adulthood. This is evidence that focusing on the quality of the work students are given is more salubrious than teaching children to handle an overabundance of work. I feel so much abhorrence towards irrelevant homework because without it, I would be able to declare that I enjoy school. I feel fortunate to have been enrolled in the education system available to me, but I have difficulties forgiving obvious flaws in the regulations of what work can be assigned to pupils. The high school my father teaches at vigorously discourages its staff from giving their students crossword puzzles and word searches. I am pleased with the idea of this rule as I consider both types of assignments to be a tedious way to discard one’s time. I also think that our school could implement a regulation of how much homework, measured by time, can be given to students each night per class. To encapsulate the view of this grievance, my school experience could be improved immensely by the removal of unwarranted homework from my already compact daily activities. Narrowing down my homework load would allow me to spend much more of my energy on valid and advantageous homework assignments, this would allow me to focus on enriching and fun extracurricular activities, and I would allow myself to look back on my school experience many years from now and be able to admit to having experienced a pleasant era as a student.
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