Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Being At High School Is A Full Time Job Indeed.

Who has a longer workday...students or adults?

School term has started and the first week's shine has worn off. Admiring new text books and pristine exercise books only last for so long after all. Gosh, there are a lot of text books and with the dearth of lockers at school, one can almost see a generation with back problems ahead.

Have you ever picked up a modern scholar's school bag? Yikes, a mountain climber's backpack weighs less.

Yesterday was my ' term start ' and I did feel a bit sorry for my charge. Homework, and plenty of it seems the order of each day. Going through it together ( and no, I never do it for them but rather help them figure it out ) took almost an hour. Sneakily, the last bit of the worksheet was an essay of about 100-150 words and if it weren't for the frequent pauses to do a word count, his writing hand would have cramped up.

Writing 100-150 words on a topic seems easy, but remember it is in a foreign language and it takes time to find stuff to write about, even if there is a topic.

If it were only English homework, that would be doable, but alas, I saw the set of Biology, German and Maths books lying about. My hour was up, but the young man still had many more ahead of him.

Of course some kids will get through their homework assignments with ease and speed but there are many others who will battle endlessly over it. The Finnish way of not having homework, seems a great example. Imagine a kid coming home from school ( usually after having spent 6-7 hours there ) and instead of having homework assignments, being able to just be? Reading a book, playing outside or visiting friends.

Article in the Smithsonian

As much as I disagree with the prolific use of Smartphones, it is a reality that almost all teenagers do have them. On them and on all the time. Unless a phone gets taken away by parents, it gets answered, stared at and used. So, you can imagine how long each afternoon tends to stretch in regard to homework. Endless.

The kids of today are under so much pressure. Pressure to do well, pressure to fit in, pressure to look good and pressure to measure up to their parent's expectations. Happiness gets pushed to the end of the line, and as a society, wouldn't it be better to have happy kids rather than overworked and burnt out ones?

Biggi