PSA: Homework advice for teachers

To all the teachers out there, I am here to tell you what you may be doing wrong in the aspect of ‘deadlines’. If you are teacher without any problems with this, you can still read it, maybe criticise this article, but I am saying my point of view on what you as teachers are doing wrong.

To all the diverse variety of teachers out there, maybe you can look at this article, and see what your student’s ‘just right’ is like; like Goldilocks with her own story to live. Right now, the logic of most brains in middle school and below (and possibly above) is to leave everything to the last minute unless motivated, and to live life to the fullest before hard going brain labour. You find us whiny and picky for choosing what homework we want to do. Newsflash, we are, and we pretty much think the same of you. There are things like emails that we just don’t have the energy to muster at the end of another day of torture. So, here’s some advice for how deadlines can be met, without trying your way to work around most of the young student logic. 

One of the student’s least favourite but effective techniques teachers sometimes use would be the pretend-this-assignment-is-important-when-it-actually-isn’t technique. None of us are sure if teachers mean to do this, but for students who care about their grades, they somehow work way too hard in these assignments when it wasn’t even a summative assignment. Even some students who barely care at times suffer from this. Maybe the teachers just forgot to tell us it was a formative, or maybe they didn’t bother, a teacher’s motives are like the Bermuda triangle to us. In fact, that recently happened in our class, it was horrible for the victims. But, it wouldn’t be effective for people who don’t care at all.

The deadlines themselves are also very important. What I believe may be the best way to make deadlines, is to keep them not too short, that they lose hope, or too long that they would slack off. For example, something like a lab report, they should give them at least a week of a head’s up so that the know when the experiment will be. I also find that it is very effective to give students time during class to do part of the work, so that if they had any questions, they wouldn’t need to go through the whole process of emailing you. But the worst possible approach? Giving homework, especially large ones, to do over holidays or weekends. It’s like a student’s mind is hard-wired to go to auto-pilot once a holiday sets in. They seem to work better when they are more alert, and that means school days. In fact, if you find a way to set a student to something, they can probably do it that day, depending on how much time they are willing to waste.

Who knows anymore? Maybe you will follow and mix some tiny advice from this article. But teachers probably will listen to students as much as we do them. I apologize if you spent your time looking at this for nothing. Honestly, most of you are very good teachers, so keep going. But one true piece of advice, is to think of a student’s perspective of a situation. You all know that students who don’t care should take responsibility, but teachers are also here to not only teach these kids, but to support them and to connect with them. Thank you for reading.

 

Written By Ziva Huang

Edited by that guy Isaac

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