The Homework Hassles:
It is June and I have barely survived the battle that we teachers call homework! In my classroom, I find that the hassles of homework have taken time away from planning high quality instruction. Each day I dutifully check off who has turned in what and log it in my grade book. By the end of the week, there are always those little dearies with more missing than checked off. The process of tracking down those assignments is when I want to pull my hair out. I have tried countless different organization systems and accountability strategies to help ease the pain of what has become my least favorite part of the day, but I have yet to perfect a system that yields the results I want.
As I reach the breaking point in the homework battle each year, I find myself asking, “Why…to what end is this helping my students?” I can recite the pros and cons for the homework issue both ways. Pros: Homework helps reinforce skills previously taught. It teaches students responsibility. In some cases, it what the parents want. Cons: Homework frustrates students who are already struggling. The ones who need the reinforcement don’t do it or do it so late that the test has already past. In other cases, there are parents that really don’t want it.
My June teacher brain is considering making some changes to my homework policy not only to save my sanity next year, but more importantly to find the best balance for my kiddos. I wanted to be sure I not only had experience on my side, but also research to back me up. This summer, finding a new solution to the homework hassle is number one on my to do list. Check back for Part 2 to find out what I learn!