Dear Future President,
I have a topic which is very important for me. It is the school system of the US. In some schools they start early and in some schools they start later. Another point which I want to discuss is the schedule from each student.
To the point that school starts early: It is very difficult to wake up so early. When school starts early the students do not have enough sleep. “Teens need about eight to 10 hours of sleep each night to function best. Most teens do not get enough sleep — one study found that only 15 percent reported sleeping eight and a half hours on school nights.” (sleepfoundation.org)
In schools where the start time is late the students are awake and have enough sleep. They are more concentrated and motivated because they are not half a sleep. School which start late are more successful and higher rated. The teachers do not have to motivated the students so much and the climate in the classroom is better. “Academic improvements have been shown, and overall school climate has been measurably improved when high schools have restored later start times. Teachers have commented extensively about the improvement in the classroom environment when students are more alert, less moody, and less likely to sleep in class.”(startschoollater.net)
I know from a friend who lives in Canada that here school start late. She is from Germany and there the school starts early. She says that she is better in school (Canada) and that she has more fun because she is awake. When she wakes up in the morning at 7:30am she is motivated and wants to go to school.
The school schedule here in the US is stressful. You have long classes and short breaks. After school you have less free time. The days are always the same because you have the same classes every day. When you have A and B days it is a little bit better. I know that the afternoon activities like sports and clubs are very important in the US and that homework is a BIG problem for the Students. They have activities and after that they go home or to work. Students have to do Homework until late in the night and the next time they have to stay up early.
A friend of mine who has A and B days says that she has more time after school because she do not have to do every homework at one day. She can plan when she has the most time and when she wants to do what.
I am an exchange student too. I am from Germany and there my school is different. I have longer school but not so much homework everyday because we do not have the same classes everyday. I only have longer school because I'm in ‘oberstufe’ and here the teacher prepare everything for us to graduate and every student has a different personal plan for his/her classes. The grades 1-9 have only school until 1pm and sometimes at one or two days grades 5-9 have school until 2 or 3pm. As an example I list you my week in Germany:
Monday: School starts for me at 11 am and ends at 3:40pm
Tuesday: school starts at 7:40am and ends at 2:55pm
Wednesday: school starts at 7:40am and ends at 1pm
Thursday: starts at 7:40 am and ends at 3:40 pm
Friday: starts at 7:40 pm and ends at 2:55pm but I have a time in the day where I have no class.
This is my schedule. Some of my friends have Wednesday only two hours or school starts at 10am for them and then they have one class and three hours no school and then again a class. It is very different but all student have around 35 hours school in a week. You see different people in the week and not always the same people. The time for Homework is longer because you do not have to do it for the next day. You can plan your week better. We have long school but we also have a lot free days and more holidays where we have time to do the things for school, drive to different places and just have time for us.
“In the United States, students go to school for extended periods of time, sometimes coming home from a regular school day as late at 4 or 5pm. Lunches are scheduled into the day as a regular feature, and many students arrive so early that they eat their breakfasts at school. In contrast, German schools keep students until 1pm, when they go home for lunch. Students do not return to school after lunch; instead, they stay at home and do homework. This homework load is intense—often taking two or more hours each day to complete. Students have to structure homework time into their afternoons to ensure they do well in school. Summer vacation functions differently in Germany and the U.S. as well. While U.S. students have 8-9 weeks of summer vacation, German students have six weeks off.” (gac-foundation)
I thought a lot about this problem here in the US and I made a plan. You can time school that it starts at 8:30 and end at 2:50.
8:30am + 45 min lessons + 5 min break= 9:20am
9:20am + 5min break + 45min lessons=10:10am
10:10am + 5min break + 45min lessons= 11:00am
11:00am + 5min break + 45min lessons=11:50 am
11:50 am + 5min break + 45min lessons= 12:40am
12:40 am + 5min break + 45min lessons=1:30pm
1:30 pm + 5min break + 45min lessons=2:20 pm
+30 min Lunch
This is just one of three time plans because of the lunch break which is 30 minutes long. When you do this and not every day the same class the student will have more fun and will work better. They will be more concentrated and motivated because it is something else than the day before.
I hope you think about this and change something for your nation.
Grade 10, Central High School
Saint Paul, Minnesota / Cologne, Germany