The first week of school after Christmas break is one of the hardest weeks to get through in the entire school year. Students often have a hard time adjusting back to their usual school schedule and find themselves unmotivated to work, especially this year since MPS had an extra long break. MPS should know this and be lenient towards their students, allowing them time to get use to the normal routine.
It’s safe to assume that most students didn’t wake up before 7:45 during the past two weeks and didn’t go to bed at a decent time, so why does it make sense to make students do this on their first day back and start teaching them new information like nothing happened? Instead of starting first hour at 7:45 each day, MPS should delay the starting time for school and shorten class lengths. Then, over the next few days gradually move the starting time back until it’s at its normal time and class periods are their normal time.
Teachers should also be aware of the difficulty of returning back to school and they should take that into account. Students aren’t necessarily ready to begin learning again seeing that they just spent two weeks relaxing and having fun. So, why would a teacher begin teaching new material and expect students to comprehend it? A better alternative would be instead starting the first day back from break by having a nice easy review of what was taught the week before break. By doing this, it would easier for students to remember what they learned and teachers would be satisfied knowing that the day was productive.
Another thing that teachers should avoid is giving a pop quiz over an assignment given during break or making a project due the first day back. Giving a pop quiz may sound like a good idea to make sure students actually do work, but all it does is hurt students. In all reality, most of the class didn’t do the assignment or didn’t do it very well, which means most of them probably won’t be able to answer specific questions about the assignment. If a student does poorly on the quiz, then it will lower their self confidence and possibly jeopardize their grade. This new program is also why having a project due the first day of break is also a bad idea. Teachers reason that as students, they have two weeks to do solid research and that one would have more than enough time to get the project done if they work on it a little bit every day. But again, the chances of the class doing the project in an efficient manor is slim to none. Teachers need to remember again what the whole point of Christmas break is: a time for rest. So, why would they give a quiz or make an assignment due the day we get back from rest?
MPS needs to understand just how hard the first week of school back from break is for students and try to find away an appropriate solution that makes it easy for students to resume learning, but still make the school day productive.