This morning, I listened to one of my favorite songs: “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight” by R.E.M. which can be found HERE. But, turn it UP since it is "Automatic for the People."
This song pertains to this post in a metaphorical way . . . and the meaning of the lyrics can be found HERE.
You’ve seen it before. Kids sitting in study halls. Some productive. Others sleeping. Crusty eyes. Drool on the desks. Some with nothing to do. Others with homework overload, panicking to get stuff done in a crammed 45-minute-time-span with no mercy from the clock or teachers. Get it done or ELSE!
Why do we wrestle with study-hall-inequity when the root causes have more to do with how the adults set up the system and how adults perceive homework, remediation, or student mentorship and academic assistance?
Maybe one symptom of how we may have created study-hall-sleepwalkers is that study halls would not be needed if we thought about our homework practices and ADULT scheduling inadequacies were made better. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for carving out part of the day for students to get extra help from teachers. But, these aren’t always the necessary study-hall-scheduling-designs. In fact, they usually stink! I won’t shy away from my beliefs. Adults create a system that they just carry out because they are the adults in charge. But, maybe we just need to LET OUR STUDENTS SPEAK! and enable them to tell us why our system is so messed up even if they WANT to sleep and let the day go on without making any ripples in the water for the kids who want to sleep.
The self-reflection questions that we should consider about study hall existence might be:
1. Why do only some students have study halls?
2. What can we do differently with the schedule to support student learning versus letting them sleep in wasted periods of nonsense?
3. What is our school-wide homework policy? What do we believe study halls will do?
4. Is variance (some teachers do this or that while other teachers do that or this) taking away from student success?
5. Have we asked our students what they need?
6. Are study halls the non-creative design by adult master schedulers?
"Call me when you try to wake her up! I can always sleep standing up!" --R.E.M.
What are your thoughts? Don't shy away from telling me what you really FEEL! But, you might have to wake me up, first, because I'm in a study-hall-prison sleeping and drooling on a desk that, oh, by the way, won't be cleaned before the next drooler plants his head on the desk!
Check out my quick video about study halls HERE!