Battle of timing: are the 30 minutes spent in homeroom worth it?
November 8, 2015
Keep it the same:
Katherine Hubbard, features writer
art by Erica Miget
Homeroom provides a much-needed breather during the whirlwind of classes and piles of homework. Unfortunately, last year, the majority of homeroom was taken up with announcements and class assemblies. This left about 30 minutes to get help from teachers before getting back in time for the bell.
With the new homeroom change, the first half hour is built in for announcements, grade checks and classroom bonding. Randy Kriewall’s homeroom dances along with “Double Dream Hands” music video and occasionally eats snacks. This is a perfect example of what homeroom should be: a break from the craziness of our schedule.
Moreover, with the first part of homeroom reserved for homeroom teachers, it leaves an entire hour for school work or meeting with other teachers. This doubles the amount from last year. The extra minutes helps students like me who need the extra time to work without rushing to get everything done.
In addition, students who don’t check their grades on a regular basis get an update. Those who do may be annoyed by this, but in my experience, knowing what I’m missing and what I need to work on is beneficial.
Before, many homerooms were occupied by class meetings and Link Crew check-ins. All time allocated for school work was wasted. The change conveniently gives them the first 30 minutes for their presentations.
In the past, my homeroom was immediately filled with rowdy kids from other homerooms distracting me from working, so it’s nice to have a calm environment to focus in. No matter what, there’s a set amount of time to work without interruption. It doesn’t have to be a situation where students are ready to burst out the door at 10:05 a.m. when the intercom buzzes.
Homeroom is meant to be a place to work, meet with teachers and just take a break from school, not add extra stress due to lack of time. Now, students can pay attention to the announcements and head off to meetings without worrying about not having enough time to finish their work.
Stop wasting our time:
Kennady Wade, opinions editor
For me and the 74 percent of students who don’t think the 30 minutes we stay in homeroom are beneficial, that time is spent anxiously watching the clock. We fidget with our red cards waiting for the announcement releasing students to come across the intercom, then hurry out hoping we have enough time to get help.
According to Dr. Michael Havener, principal, the first 30 minutes of homeroom is for checking grades and for students to establish a connection with a teacher they might otherwise never have made. Many students already check their grades on their own time thanks to Infinite Campus, so waiting for teachers to tell you what you have missing and turned in is pointless.
Havener also said with the extra 30 minutes added, teachers had time to bond more with their students without taking away time from seeing other teachers. However, for me at least, going to see other teachers entails lines that could keep you from asking your question for the entire homeroom. When I found out homeroom was going to be an extra half hour longer, my first reaction was how much easier seeing teachers would be with more time to see each student.
Furthermore, it seems not every teacher is consistent. Some ignore the 30 minutes and let their students out before, and some are so strict they don’t even let kids use the bathroom during that time. The intentions for the time are good, but that doesn’t always mean it’s efficient.
Homeroom should be a time for students to see their teachers, get help and catch up on work. Not only does waiting until 10:05 a.m. waste time, it limits time spent getting help.
If the main goal is to build bonds, the teachers who are doing that efficiently have probably already built them without the added 30 minutes. With checking grades, teachers can always flag those students ahead of time who need checking up on without holding up the rest of the students whose grades aren’t a problem.
Maybe then we could start putting our red cards to better use.