A child doing his homework.
Homework is a major part of school all around the world. Depending on the school and class, homework can be difficult and time-consuming. For some students, homework can take upwards of six hours to complete.
At C&C homework is usually given to Middle and Upper School students daily. Middle and Upper school teachers were interviewed to gather their views and beliefs about homework.
Though each teacher gives assigns homework differently, the assignments tie more into what students are doing in class. Because of that, students do not get insane amounts of homework. Also, students do not even get homework until the VIIIs.
Homework varies from group to group and from subject to subject. In Middle school, there is seems to be a bigger focus on Math and Reading homework and less focus on Social Studies since history assignments are often completed during class time. However, in the Upper School, homework seems to be more equally distributed amongst subjects. In Specials like Spanish or Science, homework is usually work that students have not completed or preparation for upcoming quizzes and tests.
Middle and Upper School teachers at C&C give out different types of homework. Sarah Whittier, XIIsS, believes that kids should not have homework. She said, “I try not to give homework. If I do, I like to give out nightly reading and weekly writing. It’s simple.”
Sarah added, “But, if there is a deadline that a kid has to meet in class, like research, they should take their work home so they can finish it.” But, Sarah does something that a lot of teachers do not do. At the end of the day, kids have 30-40 minutes of what she calls in-class work time. During that time, Sarah’s students have a chance to do homework at school instead of home.
Rose Harkrider, who is in Sarah’s group, said, “I use the in-class work time to finish some of my homework at school.” Since this time is dedicated purely towards homework, kids will often complete some of their shorter or easier homework assignments, leaving them less homework that they have to do at home.
Pete Weiss, XIIsP, gauges the amount of homework he gives by the amount of time he has in class. “If there is not enough time in class, my students will finish what they haven’t done at home.”
Unlike Sarah, Pete believes in homework. “Having to manage your homework helps with life skills in addition to the content the homework provides,” he said.
Pete, like many other teachers at C&C, said he likes to give his students homework that is more straightforward to navigate. “I like to do the more difficult work in class so that they aren’t guessing on their homework, or worse, searching for it online and getting the wrong information.”
Megan Holland, XsMe, believes in assigning homework, too. “I think that homework is an opportunity to have time to think and explore concepts outside of the classroom independently,” she said.
But, Megan is not in favor of all kinds of homework. She said, “I think that homework should have a purpose. I don’t like to just give homework for the sake of giving homework.”
Katie Mastriano and Jay Birdwell, IXs teachers, share an extremely similar set of beliefs. They both believe that homework is more of an extension of the school day. They agree that for the IXs, practice is the key to maintaining the skills they learn in class. However, both teachers agree that the IXs’ book group homework is the hardest homework they give. It forces the IXs to reflect on what they read and go more in-depth, which are useful skills.
Jay said, “For the IXs, homework makes them feel like big kids. It helps them grow towards independence.”
Katie agreed and said, “Sometimes, the IXs will ask for more homework because they think the stuff they get is too easy. That really makes them feel like bigger kids.”