Getting worked up over homework

Roderick Marzo, Staff Writer

Homework – love it or hate it, every student has had to confront it. Though some find the practice unnecessary, there are others who see it as a means of refining a student’s proficiency.

Homework is given to students as a resource; a way to keep up the momentum from school when they are away. It’s not used to expand from the work taught in class, but reinforce what’s already been established.

“It’s necessary in cases to give students practice to work on the skills if it’s something that they haven’t mastered in class yet or also reading the assignments, to read ahead for classes that have a heavier read-load.” said English teacher Kurt Wilamowski.

Moreover, homework provides students extra time that teachers don’t have in class. Teachers aren’t perfect, and sometimes a lesson can’t be finished in a class period. This is where homework comes in.

“Sometimes teachers can’t teach everything. Homework gives the student practice while they’re not at school,” said freshman Matthew Cruz.

When done right, homework can be used to perfect a student’s skills. It helps a lesson move smoothly and efficiently. However, others find that homework is unnecessary. With 87 minutes in one period, some students ask why additional work needs to be done. That added work cuts into the time a student would otherwise spend relaxing or practicing.

Freshman Spencer Albrecht said, “I feel that there is no need for homework. What [teachers are] saying happens [from homework] doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. Why don’t they just teach us what they need to in class?”

Some have speculated a world without homework. Many wonder how school will change if it’s gone. Without homework, senior Ethan Ekkert thinks that teachers are going to have to make up the lost time. They would have to work out how to make students learn and master a topic in the span of a single period. An unfinished topic can delay an entire unit.

Ekkert said, “I think that teachers would have to compensate in the classroom to help you memorize what you need to memorize more effectively.”

Some students need more time to master a topic than others. Wilamowski believes that homework should be used to support the class.

“I think the reinforcement would take a little bit longer for some students. [Homework] also helps us hit the ground running in times, too.” Wilamowski said.

Cruz believes there won’t be much change from an absence of homework, because there’s no incentive to do it anyway. “I don’t think much will change since a lot of people don’t do it anyways and others don’t do it full-heartedly compared to classwork.” Cruz said.

On the other hand, students like Albrecht would enjoy the lack of homework. Its absence means that students would be able to spend that time on more leisurely activities. Also, some students don’t excel in school. More freetime for them, means more time to refining their personal skills and strengths. For these students, having time away from school would be absolutely great.

“I feel that students would be more relaxed and stress-free because they should be able to do all their work at school. I need my own time at home,” said Albrecht.

Possible solutions for homework are in the making, and changing how it’s set up may increase the number of students who do it. Sophomore Natalie Candela suggests that the reason fewer students do work at home is from the stress of maintaining good grades. Homework worth a lot of points may stress a student out.

Candela said, “We should be given homework but it shouldn’t be taken for some many points.”

Wilamowski has the opposite idea to how homework should be handled. Instead of reducing the number of points, he believes adding them will make students prioritize it.

“There is more talk of us moving [homework] into the formative category so that it would matter more to students. Right now, homework typically falls into the Evaluation category which, even though it’s a small part of the grade, we don’t count every homework assignment or pre-evaluation. So I think when it’s an important assignment and students know that it counts, students are more likely to do it.” Wilamowski said.

Regardless of a student’s stance on homework, it’s here to stay. If you are having trouble with homework, the Math Center and Writing Center are available for assistance.

Roderick Marzo
“You can’t understand anything these guys said… [I] didn’t even know I had to read.” freshman Albrecht said after realizing he was assigned to read Shakespeare’s tragedy Othello for class. In an attempt to understand the language, Albrecht studied the book 30 minutes before school started by the front entrance of the Citgo Innovation Academy.