The American Academy of Pediatrics came out with a new study that students in middle school and high school are tired (who isn't) and want the school system to make changes to accommodate these sleep deprived students.
Here are some of their suggestions and how I believe an adolescent would interpret them:
Doctors suggest - Start the school day at a later time enabling students to get the required amount of sleep.
Adolescent interpretations - Yea! We can stay up even later than we do now because we don't have to start school so early!
Doctors suggest - Better lights in the classroom to make it very, very bright.
Adolescent interpretations - It's been pounded in our heads the last few years the importance of "going green" and now they want to waste electricity. And it's so bright in here now, I can't concentrate.
Doctors suggest - Do not have math, science, and reading until later in the afternoon.
Adolescent interpretations - Cool! Now we can be tardy and we won't be missing any "important" classes.
(I've been teaching for a quarter of a century and for as long as I can remember having the "important core" classes in the morning when the students are the freshest is the most beneficial.)
Doctors suggest - Do not give a test during first period.
Adolescent interpretations - Cool! Now we can be tardy and we won't be missing any "important" tests!
Doctors suggest (and this is my favorite absurdity) - NAP ROOMS and I quote, “Instead of going to a classroom, they can take a 15-minute nap and they’ll have two hours of alertness. A brief nap is very refreshing…. If they are not sleepy, they’ll do much better. They won’t fall asleep filling out their college applications.”
(Special Note: If you can't stay awake in school, you don't have to worry about your college applications.)
Adolescent interpretation - I don't have to go to sleep at a decent time, because I am going to take a nap at school and I get to miss part of some class to do it. (And those would be the important afternoon classes of math, science, and reading.)
I can't believe money was even wasted on a study like this. Oh wait, yes I can. Schools already provide breakfast, lunch, snacks (for after school programs), glasses, coats, supplies (in some cases), and now we can truly provide a baby-sitting service for naps.
As a teacher, let's see how this would work out -
Later school start means the day will end later too. Students can't have reading, math, and science in the morning, so that leaves history (which no one seems to care about anymore), but then again that would include having to read, so that would have to be in the afternoon as well. They can have gym, art, music and computers in the morning. (Then again, music is rife with math and you have to read a computer screen, so they might have to rethink that too.) Library can't be in the morning then either...you know it's that pesky reading thing again. So basically the most important part of the day will take place after lunch when the teens need a nap. I want to know who gets the job of waking those adolescents up after just fifteen minutes and getting them to go to class. I am sure they will be quite happy when they get to those important classes of reading, math and science.
Calculating this means that "learning" really starts about 1:00 in the afternoon when it's okay to give tests and teach subjects. Dinner would most likely have to be served because they are there so long. Would their still be after school programs, sports programs? If so, what time would the kids be getting home? Oh that's right, they have all night to stay up and play their video games, play on their phones, and watch TV because they don't have to get up early the next day.
To read the whole story, click this link.
As for me, after all this reading and writing, I'm beat... I'm going to take a nap!