The Northern Light

Under pressure: students are crushed by the weight of homework

Staff and Komalpreet Kaur

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In the daily life of a high schooler, there is a burgeoning list of things to do and insufficient hours in the day to complete them all and get enough sleep to stay healthy. While many adults argue that teenagers are “overcommitted,” in a six period day, if each teacher assigns us 30 minutes of homework, that’s 3 additional hours when we get home. We have “worked” at school for more hours than our parents worked at their career jobs. Students are also highly pressured by the competitive nature of college admissions, the wage gap between high and low income families, or both to extend themselves past the classroom, balancing extracurriculars like clubs, sports, and/or a job as well. Our teachers can’t control the climate of college admissions or the economy, but they can control the amount of extra work that they require us to do, especially when it doesn’t feel like it contributes to our learning in valuable ways.  

Illustration by Megan Rinock

The degree of demand of high school coursework varies from person to person, but there is a constant factor: teachers and administrators seem less and less concerned with how students manage their time, assigning extra work without consideration for what’s happening in the school or in other classes and also without effectively assisting students with time management. When teachers assign extra assignments as though theirs is the only class that students have, it becomes a burden on the student to figure out how to handle all of these responsibilities themselves. When a student doesn’t have their homework done, it becomes a zero in the gradebook, not a question of, “how can I help you be more successful in my class?” From a teachable moment to an expectation that departments alternate homework days during the week, there are simple changes that could be made that would greatly affect a student’s enjoyment of high school.

Districts like PPS develop students who are goal oriented in regards to the best colleges, but at what cost? The emotionally and physically taxing workload that is typical our high school experience is taking a devastating toll on us. The bottom line is that WE ARE CRUSHED. Crushed by the weight of hours of extra assignments that are either ungraded or graded for completion only and that do not actually help us learn in meaningful ways. Crushed by the pressure to perform our best on multiple overlapping projects and tests that are assigned without regard to what else in happening at that time. Crushed by the side effects of being overworked: sleep deprivation, poor eating and exercise habits, social isolation, loneliness, and anxiety to the point of panic attacks. Now that our teachers and administrators know that, the question is: what will they do to lift the weight?

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11 Comments

11 Responses to “Under pressure: students are crushed by the weight of homework”

  1. Lily Browning on March 14th, 2018 11:52 am

    I agree I think there should be designated days for each teacher to give homework and classes i.e
    One week is English next week math and so on.

    [Reply]

  2. DeShana on March 14th, 2018 11:52 am

    Nice article! 100% Agreed.

    [Reply]

  3. Kennedy Pilger on March 14th, 2018 11:55 am

    I agree with everything in this article. Kids shouldn’t have to come home from school, and do more work, but should spend more time doing the things they love. Teachers should take this into consideration before giving students a 0 in the grade book for non- completed assignments.

    [Reply]

  4. Lydia Miller on March 14th, 2018 11:56 am

    I agree with the information and points of view in this article. I believe that all the work time we put in at school, should be able to balance out the amount of homework we have to do at home. Having too much homework can also cause students to get less sleep because they are staying up later, doing the work, which effects their work at school. Overall, I believe that students should have to do some work at home, but not so much that it will effect the amount of sleep they acquire and extra curricular activities that their amount of homework is allowing them to participate in.

    [Reply]

  5. Annaliese Wendt on March 14th, 2018 11:57 am

    I totally agree with you, homework crushes kids. It leaves us to have no time for extra activities of our choice, but then we get a lecture on how we are supposed to be active everyday. How are we supposed to balance school, social life, and health. Thanks for putting this article out there to help inform students and staff on how homework actually affects students.

    [Reply]

  6. Stephen Loparo on March 14th, 2018 11:59 am

    I agree that there is too much homework. Yes this is a required assignment.

    [Reply]

  7. Molly Freeman on March 14th, 2018 12:00 pm

    I agree with this article that students are crushed under the weight of homework daily. I think it is very difficult to get your homework done after school hours, especially when a student is participating in extra ciricular activities that take up the majority of the school night. I feel that the homework load should be lightened but not eliminated.

    [Reply]

  8. Tyler Bowers on March 14th, 2018 12:00 pm

    I can agree with this because I’ve heard from grades above me complain about having hours of homework, however I haven’t gotten as much homework compared to them. In fact, I have less than a half-hour of homework each night unless I have a big project.

    [Reply]

  9. rachel on March 14th, 2018 2:25 pm

    I totally agree with this. Teachers say this will only take 30 minutes to an hour for homework. But it for the 7 hours we have, it adds up a lot. Also, the majority of kids go home and have something to do whether its a sport or whatever, but with loads of homework it is basically impossible to do all of your homework and your activity, while getting a sufficient amount of sleep

    [Reply]

  10. Evan Wahmhoff on March 14th, 2018 2:30 pm

    I agree with a couple of points you made, however I also disagree with some of them. For instance, I don’t agree with “teachers and administrators seem less and less concerned with how students manage their time” as there is are electives such as freshman focus. In addition, I don’t believe that students are given too much homework, from my background as a KAMSC and all honors student, I believe students don’t manage their time effectively and have distractions such as their phone. I do believe that students should focus on what they love. I personally have enough free time and enjoy extracurricular activities and personal hobbies. Anyways, still a great article, I appreciate you sharing this.

    [Reply]

  11. Alex G on March 14th, 2018 2:33 pm

    I agree, students should not have homework. It puts unnecessary stress on us to finish it on time. We should be doing other things more important like sports or hanging out with friends.

    [Reply]

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Under pressure: students are crushed by the weight of homework