Should Teachers Give Work Over Break?

Amanda Altarejos, Editor in Chief

      A few weeks ago, the holidays were in full swing. Every student looked forward to the fourteen days we have away from school to enjoy the season’s festivities. Some, however, dread the break because it isn’t even a break at all– teachers assign excess homework during this time, whether it’s a casual worksheet or critical studying. After three stressful weeks packed with assessments and assignments, extra work is the last thing students would like to do when they are relaxing and spending time with family. 

      Work over the break adds a unique pressure to seniors who concurrently are finishing up their college applications. Applications are no easy feat, and they are quite time consuming. Juggling this imperative responsibility alongside extra academic work from school and the holiday celebrations can become quite the struggle. As a senior who had some extended assignments and an application process that lasted until early January, my Christmas break consisted of several long nights and filled agendas. The additional due dates from school weren’t exactly “merry” to think about before making Christmas plans with friends and family as my mind was already occupied with figuring out what verbs to use in my college essays. However, I did appreciate some of my teachers’ work being due the Friday we got back to school rather than the immediate Monday. While having two more weeks to review for January tests that were originally scheduled for December helped me to feel a bit more confident about my level of preparedness, some students prefer getting these tests over with. Studying entire units when one could be skiing down slopes without the added weight of imminent grades on their shoulders isn’t exactly how some students want to spend their break. According to Gigi Glennon ‘23, the juniors also had a busy first week back from Christmas break. Some of her grade had an in-class essay or unit test right after reeling from the joy and exuberance of the New Year. 

      Students who didn’t have work over the break tended to have a more relaxed, carefree Christmas. Madison McCrainey ‘22, who had no break homework, “felt relaxed” without it, saying, “teachers shouldn’t give work over the break because it’s a way for us to take time away.” Two weeks over break without additional stress would allow students to unwind, spend time with family, and not have to worry about imminent due dates.

      Mrs. Luke, Marist’s director of campus activities, offers a different perspective. For her, giving work over the break “in moderation and in conjunction with other departments” is the best way to do it, if done at all. In Luke’s experience, homework like book-reading isn’t as cumbersome as some other assignments would be.