Students are waiting for the holiday break at the end of December to celebrate the festivities with family and friends. While students are excited, teachers have their own opinions on the recess.
Every year, students get excited for the eleven days off that gives them a chance to get some sleep and take a break from the rigorous curriculum.
This of course, comes at a price. Studies have shown that when not exposed to an academic environment in which students are always reviewing material, they forget what they have learned. Statistics from Oxford Learning, show that over the summer break, “On average, students lose 2 months of reading skills…” This is significant. It can be frustrating coming back from a break and being expected to have retained information from eleven days before.
Teacher’s have their own perspectives and views on if the break helps or hurts students. Here are two views presented, one from an academic teacher and one from a elective teacher. Psychology and World History teacher Mr. Todd Williams says, “I believe it helps that students can catch their breath at the midway point.” In addition, Photography teacher Ms. Meghan Hudson says, “It’s a critical time,” adding, “…we all need to take a break every now and then and just relax and spend some time away from the hustle and bustle.”
While students are on their break, many forget that teachers have lives outside of school and that they’re on their break as well. Mr. Williams explains that the break benefits teachers which in turn benefits students noting, “It’s a good time just to clear your mind, be with your friends and family, put things in perspective, which I hope reduces anxiety among students.” Ms. Hudson points out the timing issues of the break explaining how “It’s challenging with the timing for the semesters.” From her perspective, “…the benefits of having some time away from work and some time away from teaching to spend time with my family and friends totally outweighs the challenges of the timing. You know, you make it work because it’s just an important time.”
This break is a crucial time for students and teachers. As a result of this, there is an ongoing discussion about whether there should be more “mini” breaks in the school year, if there should be longer breaks, or if the breaks should stay the way they are. Mr. Williams believes that it should stay the same stating, “I think what we have is nice. I wish we did have a little longer February break like we used to just because of all the illnesses and things like that. A lot of people are out anyway and well, that would help.” Ms. Hudson shares this view explaining, “I enjoy the large chunk of time in the summer and if we scatter and add more breaks during the school year it’s got to come from somewhere so I think what we have now is a decent balance.” No matter what the opinion on the school year, teachers and students are ready to take a much needed break.