Many of my classes in the last week of the first interim saw debates of both students and teachers expressing their thoughts on a reversion to SSES’ original modified block schedule (last year’s schedule). I found myself on the short end of most of these arguments, one of the few students in support of bringing back the old schedule.
But I think there are a few advantages to the old schedule that most students aren’t considering. Overall, most people’s opinions on the change will be based on how it affects their personal class lineup, but I would still implore you to think about a few additional factors.
Many students’ main concern is that their homework load will increase. The old block schedule means that students attend the same class 2-3 days in a row, meaning that multiple teachers can assign homework due the next day. Some students, especially underclassman with little to no familiarity with the old schedule, fear that this may leave them swamped with last-minute assignments.
But based on my experience with our new green/gold schedule, I would expect homework to stay about the same, or maybe even decrease, upon going back to the old schedule. I’m not sure about other classes, but many of my teachers have been assigning double their normal homework every night, with the justification that I have two days to complete said assignments before returning to their class.
This leaves me with two options: do everything the night before it is due, leaving me to complete 2-4 assignments each for 3 classes, or space out my work, completing one assignment for all six classes each night. Either way, I end up doing about 4-6 assignments every night, which is around the same as my workload on the original schedule.
Mr. Forrester said that the change was decided after much feedback from teachers wishing to abandon the new schedule.
Many teachers, especially those in the language department, see the change as helpful for their teaching methods. Mr. Revard, head of the language department, found that the green and gold schedule makes teaching a language to his less-experienced students extremely difficult, as he only sees them 2-3 times a week.
Teachers’ increased familiarity with the old schedule would likely lead to them more efficiently using class time, meaning less wasted time for students. The teachers could then use their extra time to work through out-of-class tasks, leading to students receiving graded assignments quicker.
I realize that students are frustrated by switching schedules just after getting used to the new one, and I especially feel for freshmen who started their time in the upper school on the green and gold schedule and now must change just eight weeks in. But while many are heading into the schedule change with negative expectations, I think an open mind could lead students to realize that the old schedule made our lives easier.