Revamp Learning

Teachers shouldn’t give busy work to students

Brynn Friesen, Staff Writer

Last semester, I signed up to direct a choir show at the school to see how I would like it, considering my college major will be music education. 

While I knew this would have brought on enough stress as it is, the implementation of busy work in most of my other classes caused my time with the show to be more negative than positive.

I enjoyed the directing process and how creative I could get with the show, however, I know I could have enjoyed it more had I not been slammed with so much unnecessary homework.

I completely understand that my teachers had no clue that I was directing a show and was therefore already facing a lot of stress, and I do not blame them for any of it. What I blame is the outdated system of busy work. 

Whenever homework is enforced, there is a reason groans sound throughout the classroom. It’s not only because they simply don’t feel like it — it’s also because many know they won’t have the proper time to complete it or complete it well.

Some homework is necessary, especially if a unit has just started. However, when it gets to the point where the students are just waiting for the unit to be over, homework might not be needed anymore.

Students tend to suffer from a larger amount of stress compared to that of adults. A study done by the American Psychological Association reveals the unhealthy levels of stress teenagers face in school — on a ten-point scale, teens surveyed averaged a level of 5.8, compared to the normal, healthy rate of 3.9. On the contrary, adults averaged a level of 5.1. 

How is it that people who are working every day and many who are trying to maintain a healthy, manageable budget and lifestyle have lower stress levels than people merely preparing for this difficult future ahead?

In my experience, students who experienced high levels of stress tended to give up on multiple activities or projects because of a lack of time or decrease of mental health, which can negatively affect their futures.

When we implement busy work, we take away the time students have for their other classes, activities and daily lives. Instead of busy work, schools can use more effective ways to keep students engaged and motivated to continue their schoolwork.

Should a class not have enough curriculum to fill up the school year, the teacher should not be told to simply pass out busy work over the same exact topic, over and over again. Instead, the teacher should be given — or could come up with — a new, involving way to reteach the same subject that preferably diminishes the amount of homework for said class.

Ways of eliminating busy work outside the school could include creating in-class activities (spread out over the course of a few classes if time permits), simply giving more time to the students to finish the homework in class rather than taking all of the time up by lecturing, or more.

If this were enforced and followed, students would be opened up to a much more creative learning style, considering that the teachers might have to get a little creative themselves.

Society needs to realize that if we continue to enforce busy work in every single class a student takes, there will be no room for individuality or self-expression, and the stress will increase every year for every generation to come.