Spring Break Gets Homework

Causes Stress on Middle School Students


Photo: William Anderson

Photo illustration

Recently, some students from University Prep complained about getting homework over spring break. They claim that this is not allowed and it has been causing unnecessary stress over breaks.
According to a Puma Prints survey of 71 middle school students, 4.7% said they got a lot of homework over break, 30.2% said they got some homework over break and 27% said they got optional homework over break. Finally, about 38% said they got no homework over break. Overall, a majority of middle schoolers got some form of homework over the break.
The head of the middle school, Susie Wu, has an opinion.
“It’s our policy to designate certain breaks, especially long breaks or three day weekends to have no homework,” Wu said. “I think breaks should be breaks, you know.”
Brent Slattengren AKA Mr. Slatts is a teacher who has worked at University Prep for more than 14 years. In that time, he has never changed his opinion on giving out homework over break.
“My sort of strategy or my goal is I teach my students to work hard when they are at school, and then they play and relax when they are on breaks,” Slattengren said.
Most faculty and staff at University Prep agree that giving homework over break is wrong, however some teachers around the country think it might be a good idea. This includes an eighth grade English teacher from Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii Christina Torres.
“As a teacher, I now understand the temptation to give work over school breaks. There never seems to be enough time to do the projects or read the texts I’d like to with my kids, and asking students to work or read during breaks eases that crunch. I also worry that my students will lose some of their learning in the weeks they are gone,” Torres said in an article for EducationWeek.
Many middle schoolers have reported that giving homework over break can actually make them do worse in school because their brain needs a break. Eighth grader
Quinn Burwell thinks that even though there is technically no homework over break, sometimes teachers don’t think about the deadlines
“Well the assignment was assigned to us the Friday before break and then was due the second day we got home from break. Having an assignment looming over your head can cause stress over what’s supposed to be a fun break,” Burwell said. “Plus, after I have a nice long break, it kinda makes me want to learn more at school, my mind is clean and fresh.”