If you asked any student how last week was in terms of events, homework, and extracurriculars, they would likely sum it up in one word: Hectic. Though we only had a four-day week to push through, the various sporting events, rehearsals, clubs, night events, and tests amounted to absolute chaos. There was a collective mad rush to get everything done right and on time and still have energy to spare for the rest of the day.
And this isn’t the first time it’s happened. Too often, whether it be Christmastime or right before Spring Break, Homecoming or Homegoing, the tyranny of relentless mandatory celebration leaves us exhausted and often, ironically, feeling emptier because we don’t have any energy left to celebrate! (Alright, I’m being dramatic, but you get my point.)
If you’ve read my article on the downsides of excessive homework, you know that this area of stress is one I feel very passionately about. To be honest, I’m sure many students would agree with me if I said that we got completely overloaded this week with tests, quizzes, and various projects that required a lot of attention. And who do we usually blame for all our scholarly woes? Our teachers. This might make sense, seeing as they are the ones to assign us homework and tests and projects. But there is actually a lot that we don’t see behind the scenes.
Mrs. Gordon, the Bible & Religious Studies teacher at CCES, shares some valuable insight in a recent interview. “When we [administrative staff] are planning a calendar.. [we] will look at whats happening and ty to plan accordingly,” she says. “Honestly, if you’re ever in that room, the attention thats given to trying to spread out as much as possible is intense, it really is…because everyone’s trying to figure out how we don’t overload students.” It isn’t always easy, though. In addition to national events such as standardized testing or holidays that are completely out of teachers’ control, school-wide events can interfere as well.
Take this Homegoing, for example: The teachers can’t control when Spirit Week takes place, and they have to wrap up their class units to keep the pace moving forward amid all the “special” weeks we have. Couple that with play rehearsals and sporting events, and you’ve got a room full of tired and stressed-out students. But, can’t they just delay assessments for a few days? It’s not so simple. “There’s not a lot of weeks when we as teachers can pull back and say ‘I can give you less this week and we’ll make it up another week.’”, Mrs. Gordon laments. “There’s just not enough days like that in the calendar year.”
But there is good news! When talking to Mrs. Joseph, an Algebra teacher at CCES, I learned that if we communicate what is happening with our busy schedules, many teachers are willing to shift some things around to accommodate us. “You know, teachers are always willing to work with the students – we want you to test at your best,” she says. “Your teachers might be more willing to work with you than you expect.”
The school are not out to get us. They want us to perform well and let off some steam when we can. And even when we do have a stressful week, they do their best to alleviate the stress of it all. It’s one of the many blessings that we as students have to be thankful for here at Christ Church. So, the next time this happens, take a breath, talk to your teachers, and know that it’s all going to be fine. They’ve got our back.
Link to original sentence: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/30/opinion/sunday/christmas-season-advent-celebration.html