Thursday, March 09, 2006

Spring Break?

Let's talk about Spring Break.

I do not give assignments over Spring Break. To my way of thinking (which is, I admit, more than just a little bit outside the box, euphemistically speaking) a student with a lot of homework due the first day back from a break, isn't really getting a break. That student is merely getting a few days of excused absences.

Isn't the express purpose of a break, to give students a (gasp) BREAK? Isn't a break supposed to be personal time, or family time? Shouldn't a break be free of the scheduled obligations that the student is supposed to be getting a break FROM?

My students were grateful for my announcement, and they were very expressive in telling me so. They've got mountains of math and accounting due after the break. Some of them have to give a big speech their first day back from break. They've got massively large biology projects, assigned this week to be done over break and presented the first week back.

My question, I suppose, is WHY?

Why call it a break, and then load the students with work that will consume most of it?

I believe that students deserve to have some free time during Spring Break. My older students deserve to have some time to spend with their children and spouses during Spring Break. My students should be able to take a trip, visit friends, have guests, play with their kids, eat in a restaurant with their partner, get in some extra hours at work, etc, without worrying about the swinging pendulum of big assignments hanging over their head. They are on a break; they should GET a break.

I do not think I am unreasonable to think this way, either.

If our students are to be given a week that is labelled "Spring BREAK," then that week should be a genuine break.

Back in my student days, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, there were instructors who loaded us down with projects and work over a supposed break. We had names for them.

I think students today use those same names. I think those names are deserved.

I load my students with work during the work weeks. When it's break week, I give them a break.

I would be very interested in what other people think about this issue.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 3:47 PM | |


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