There is nothing like a controversial tweet to annoy teachers, as this recently adopted Madir SP:
Responses were mixed and from “YAY” to “Thanks, I know what I’m doing” to “How dare you?” But the question remains: are we doing our homework properly, and are we practicing what we preach when we all spend our time?
In the last two years, the lives of ordinary Americans have changed dramatically. Adults everywhere are struggling with this new normal, from economic hardship to loss of control. Children and adults are confused about the COVID-19 guidelines and our role and reassessment of work. We need a break. We need borders.
Are we walking or just talking?
Like many of you, I’ve recently gotten better at saving my leisure time. This can be a challenge because many of us have conditioned our whole lives to prioritize work and careers. And as teachers, we are under pressure to create perfect lessons and to be everything to all students (usually from ourselves).
Once we know that we need boundaries, there is no shortage of advice on how to find that perfect balance between career and domestic life. This fantastic article helps us visualize and prioritize our work using glass cups, plastic balls and ghosts. And here are 7 tips for teachers trying to achieve a good balance One is “Give yourself a peep talk” and the other is “Take a break.”
There is plenty of advice (including “do more smart, not harder!”), But the general idea here is:
- Find out what’s on your plate.
- See what you need to do at home (including self-care).
- Make a conscious decision about the boundaries you need to stay healthy and happy.
And it works great when we decide what goes on our plate. A student with homework doesn’t make that choice, which means their homework is about to come out of what needs to be done at home (including self-care). We decided from their hands.
Hey, homework, what’s your “why”?
Lazy Perfectionist continues, “There are a lot of variables outside of school that affect the completion of homework and at least we need to stop punishing kids who don’t finish it” and that’s all. Research on how, when, and why homework is even more likely to be successful provides complex and slightly prescriptive value.
The answer can only be found in our classrooms, and in us. Before I do anything, I try to verify my privileges. What bias do I bring to the situation, both in my pedagogical approach and in how I view my students? Do I have reasonable expectations of them? Am I considering their own experiences before inserting my instructional goals into those experiences? We can discover amazing things when we hear from this perspective.
You can’t assign any of your students homework এমনকি even the best kind of homework unless you know what “home” looks like. Duration.
Which brings us back to:
You may not come to the same conclusion, but we have a responsibility to ask whether our guidelines or expectations work or are based on what we are accustomed to.
What does it look like?
On a practical level, some kids want homework. Many students find the structure and independent work helpful for their learning. Many families have expectations, and so do other teachers. Ultimately, homework should be intentional and meaningful. And it should be clearly connected to what students do in class.
I want to give kids optional, open-ended work in my language arts class so they can practice if they want. We use that time to write prompts, for example, and many students prefer to read long lessons away from the chaos of the classroom or to finish more creative work after having time to think. Sometimes I’m a little late to give a student a place to do things that their peers might have saved for home, but I’m careful not to make homework the only option if a student needs more time.
And let’s not ignore that With teacher Essential life experience– If some of our activities or lessons can help students maintain a healthy balance between school and home, let’s take the opportunity to take our own ideas on how to maintain healthy boundaries.
Healthy people build a healthy school, and we all have a role to play. Before you expand your classroom into your students’ home life, make sure you do it in a way that balances their school-life as well as yours.
What are your thoughts? Does homework violate work-life boundaries? Does it have a place in the classroom? Share the comment.
Also, for more articles like this, be sure to subscribe to our newsletters.