Online assignments over break

What?! There was homework over break? Panic mode sets in when teachers ask for the homework supposedly assigned over break. But can the teacher really hold the student accountable for an assignment that was not verbally addressed in class? Assignments over vacation partially defeat the break’s purpose because it continues to add work and stress for the student.

Though most of the students in a classroom have access to a computer and the Internet, teachers cannot automatically assume that a student has such resources at home. If there were students who do not have regular access to a computer, they may miss the assignment because they did not have the resources to be notified. When the teacher announces an assignment, all students will be able to hear it and have the opportunity to complete it.

It is not fair for teachers to assume students will periodically check the school website check for any upcoming assignments. For students who travel to locations with little to no Internet connection during breaks, they may come back to school unaware of an assignment that everyone else is turning in. Before winter and spring break, homework should be assigned ahead of time, not posted during the break. During these breaks, many students traveling and cannot be expected to complete an assignment that they were not notified about.

During regular school days, students are busy with classes, sports, clubs and extracurriculars. However, breaks are for students to relax and rewind before submerging themselves into the competitive environment of the school again. Thus, during the break, students should not be assigned any work so they can completely relax mentally, physically and emotionally prepare themselves for the upcoming semester. Breaks are opportunities to spend time with family and pursue other hobbies, not times to continue worrying about homework. Often times, I am unable to fully enjoy my break because I am working on assignments due on the first day back and worrying about upcoming quizzes and tests. People always ask how my break went, and I answer that I was not able to relax completely because of the homework assigned.

In situations when the teacher simply forgets to notify a class of an assignment or decides to assign the homework later on, he or she should extend the deadline beyond the first day of school. Teachers need to acknowledge that not all students have the ability to check the homework website every day, so those students would need to be notified of a homework assignment ahead of time.

Teachers may tend to make these mistakes because of the many classes they are teaching, which can lead them to forget to remind one class of a homework assignment. Students can help themselves by helping the teacher by reminding him or her of any possible homework assignments over break and asking for an extension on the due date. By reminding their teachers to notify them of assignments, students will be able to plan out their break accordingly so that they are able to allot time to complete the assignment and still take full advantage of the break before another rigorous semester.

By Irene Zhou, Staff writer
Photo by Richard Zhang