Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Block Schedule

Tomorrow is the highly anticipated unveiling of the new school schedule for next year. From what I've heard from basically all of the teachers and the students (who's parents were informed of the new schedule last week), we have a block schedule. This is a kind of schedule where you have, for example, four 75 minute class periods a day that meet every other day.
Here's the thing. I had a block schedule last year, and it was AWFUL. Like, absolutely terrible, and I'm about to tell you why.
First of all, students in my class couldn't pay attention for half an hour if they wanted to. So people didn't have the attention span for it.
Secondly, and this is totally true, I feel like some of the teachers I had last year thought that since we have a block schedule and so much time, we didn't have to use all of that to learn. So, literally, we would get twenty minute lectures about things that were totally unrelated to the class.  We'd also get like, thirty minutes to do about ten Spanish questions, so I would finish it in five minutes and read for the rest of the half-hour. It was a waste of my time.
Thirdly, (and here's the thing that bothered me a LOT) say you do a section a day in math with a normal schedule that meets every day. Last year,  we would spend a 75 minute class period on one section every other day, which means we only got through half of the book. I think we actually did four chapters in math last year. WE SPENT THREE WEEKS ON THE QUADRATIC FORMULA!!! It's honestly not that hard, you just plug the numbers in. And we learned that in SEVENTH grade!!! Don't insult our intelligence.
Fourthly, the thing that I like about the schedule we have now, is that, even though it's impossible to follow, there's a lot of variety, and I think that the class lengths are just right, even for the boring classes.
But here's the other side of the argument:
You could do a lot of labs and stuff in science.
There's this one class called Urban Research and Design and they have to do a bunch of really long projects, so it would help them out.
Longer periods mean you can get more stuff done.
You can go on more field trips (the only "field trips" I went on last year was going outside to the river for gym. That's it)
There's probably a lot more, but I can't think of any right now.

So last year, my experience with block scheduling was really bad. I ended up getting so hungry in Spanish, that I brought a nature valley bar to class and ate it while the teacher wasn't looking. Also, you just get bored, and class seems like it'll go on forever.
This is also what they do in college, but I don't think I would mind it as much there as I would here. And who knows, maybe it'll be magical and I'll fall in love with it. You never know.

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