Teachers should not assign homework during winter break

*Here’s a piece your kids will love – because everyone needs a break. VL


By Ray Salazar, The White Rhino (3 minute read) 

Last week, a DNAInfoChicago article highlighted that some top high schools in the Chicago Public Schools established a “no homework” policy during winter and spring break.  I agree.  All schools should adopt this policy.

There is misconception that making students work nonstop equals rigor and, therefore, provides a better education.  A student currently at one of the top Chicago high schools told me that they get four to five hours of homework a night.  They’re on a regular 8-period-a-day schedule.  So it’s all due the next day.

I tried not to react.  But I thought, “That’s madness!”  I definitely don’t want my own kids there.

The homework I assign takes students an average of one hour to complete.  Because we’re on a block schedule and I see students every other day for 90 minutes, they have two nights to do it.  Students say it’s reasonable.  If they use their time wisely, they can still work or play a sport or be teens AND do their homework without staying up late.

Homework should build on what students do in classes.  Homework should help students progress with larger assignments like projects and essays.  Homework should balance skill development and independent challenges.

Homework fails when all the responsibility gets thrown on the student and his or her family.  I’ve helped enough nieces and nephews with science fair projects to know this.  The teachers gave a packet and threw all the responsibility on the student to do this on his own.  Not fun.

Read more articles by Ray Salazar in NewsTaco. >> 

Homework during breaks runs the risk of becoming a massive forced undertaking where students must read an entire novel, complete a multi-page research paper, create something requiring a tri-fold board, or complete a heavy packet of worksheets.

So I ask myself, “Is the student’s academic life going to be significantly better if they do this?”

READ MORE 


Since 1995, Ray has been an English teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. In 2003, Ray earned an M.A. in Writing, with distinction, from DePaul University. In 2009, he received National Board Certification. His writing aired on National Public Radio and Chicago Public Radio many times and have been published in the Chicago Tribune and CNN. For thirty years, Ray lived in Chicago’s 26th Street neighborhood. Today, he lives a little more south and a little more west in the city with his wife, son, and daughter.

You can “Like” The White Rhino Blog’s Facebook page.

[Photo by ND Strupler/Flickr]

Subscribe today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Must Read

Coronavirus: Mexican wrestlers sew Lucha Libre face masks

Victor Landa April 23, 2020

Unable to compete due to coronavirus, Mexico’s Lucha Libre wrestlers have taken up sewing face masks. Social distancing means the iconic sport is on hold for now, so fighters need […]

Latinos: COVID-19 Disrupts Finances, Daily Life, Mental Health

Victor Landa April 6, 2020

COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate. But U.S. Latinos are more likely than all Americans to say the coronavirus pandemic changed their daily lives, and disrupts their mental health, finances, and jobs, according to new Pew Research […]

A Profile of Coronavirus and the Latino Workforce

Victor Landa April 13, 2020

*This article was originally published in the NALCAB Blog. Over the last month, the Coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the lives and well-being of all Americans. It has disproportionately impacted the most […]

Hispanics more likely than Americans overall to see COVID-19 as a major threat to health and finances

Victor Landa April 14, 2020

Hispanics are more concerned than Americans overall about the threat the COVID-19 outbreak poses to the health of the U.S. population, their own financial situation and the day-to-day life of their local […]

Coronavirus could ‘decimate’ Latino wealth, which was hammered by the Great Recession

Victor Landa April 16, 2020

Octavia Nieto worked for over 10 years as a pastry chef at a bakery in Princeton, New Jersey. Now with the business closed indefinitely, she relies on a part-time job […]

Latino Teens: Distance Learning Is a Giant Stressor amid Coronavirus

Victor Landa April 22, 2020

Latino teens are more worried than their peers that they won’t be able to keep up with school work or extracurricular activities amid coronavirus, says a new survey by Common Sense and […]

LATINX PLAYERS POISED TO BLOW UP THE 2020 NFL DRAFT

Victor Landa

Despite these uncertain times, the 2020 NFL Draft will proceed as planned. But because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the 2020 NFL draft will be held virtually for the first time […]

Government Relief Less Likely To Reach Latino Businesses

Victor Landa April 23, 2020

Latino communities may face a generational setback in growing wealth, as the pandemic-driven downturn exacerbates an already present gap in funding for their small businesses. Juan Rios sits among the […]