Let’s Give Students a Break Over Break

As many of you know, the various breaks throughout the year (Thanksgiving, Winter, February, and April) give a chance for students to relax, spend time with family, and celebrate holidays without the stress of school hanging over their heads. At least, that’s what it’s supposed to be. However, recently teachers have begun assigning students work to complete over breaks or scheduling tests for the day after break ends. This is more harmful than helpful and takes away from a much needed break for students. Teachers should not assign work over breaks or schedule tests for immediately after students return to school. 

School can be a very stressful experience for many students. They have to balance time commitments for sports and clubs, keep their grades up, manage social interactions, and still find time to do their homework. It can be a lot to do almost every day, but breaks provide some time to destress before students have to go back to that. When teachers assign work to complete over break, students aren’t able to get a break from stress. Now they have to worry about finding time to get their work done while still being able to spend time with family and friends they don’t have time to see during the school year. As junior Diya Patel says, “Winter break, for many, is supposed to be a time for family and relaxation. Having schoolwork over break makes it really difficult to prioritize ourselves, even for a moment, when there is the constant thought of ‘when am I going to get this done?’” 

Even many teachers who don’t directly assign work over break schedule tests within three days of school starting up again. While they may not view this as assigning work, any student who doesn’t want to fail the test will have to spend their break studying. Again this is very stressful, and prevents students from spending time with loved ones or taking some time for themselves to relax. 

Finally, the purpose of breaks is to give students a break from school. Over breaks, students shouldn’t have to be stressed about assignments or studying for tests. They should be able to have time to hang out with friends, see family, celebrate holidays, and take some time for themselves. Doing all of these things while trying to keep up with school work is a struggle for many students, which is why we have breaks. By forcing students to complete work over break, teachers are preventing students from truly having a break at all. 

In conclusion, if Coginchaug really cares about mental health, it should have a policy of no homework over breaks, and no tests in the three days following a return to school.