Should Teachers Assign Schoolwork Over Break?

Students and staff debate whether homework should be assigned over Thanksgiving break.


Sophomore Sophia Beeson works on her case study for AP U.S. History.

Olivia Uskert, Reporter

Thanksgiving. A time to be thankful. A time to reflect on what you’re grateful for. A time to step away from the classroom and spend quality time with family and friends.

However, some students will have to hang on to their textbooks a bit longer than they might like. According to a survey sent out on November 16, 58% of students expect to have homework over Thanksgiving break, much to their dismay.

Junior Sarah Lowe said, “(Thanksgiving) should be a time spent with family, not doing homework. We should be able to enjoy quality time with our friends and family for the five days of break we get.”

Senior Megan Hoppes added, “I have had many breaks in the past four years that have been ruined by having to do homework or even the stress of knowing that I have homework. We deserve a break to spend time with family, since school limits the time that we have with them.”

Sophomore Mary Buhner adds another layer to this argument, stating, “Students already balance homework, school, sports, extracurricular activities and family activities. Breaks should be (spent) enjoying time.”

Mental health counselor Mrs. Sarah Ehlich said, “As a human, you would hope that a break is a break. Having homework over Thanksgiving would (definitely) feel like a stressor. But everything is unique to the individual. For some people, that stress is really manageable, and for others, it’s not. Being able to disconnect from school and work, for both students and teachers, is always a good thing. However, I say that knowing that there is a curriculum that teachers have to follow.”

While most students seem to agree that they don’t want excessive homework assigned over break, some rationalize that a manageable amount of work is a reasonable request.

Senior Natalie Graham said, “I think a little homework over break is justified, but nothing more than an hour’s worth.”

Adding on to her statement, sophomore Ryan Peterson said, “I think (teachers) should assign a little amount (of homework) so people can still think about school over break.”

Social studies teacher Mr. Gregory Smith gave his stance on this topic from a teacher’s perspective, saying, “I’m not opposed to giving people work, but at the same time, I don’t think (students) should be overloaded. Just like every homework assignment, it should be meaningful and contribute to the course.”

All the classes that Smith teaches are at the AP, or Advanced Placement, level, meaning that students have to stay on track with the college-level curriculum in order to be prepared for the AP exam in May. Because of this, his students have an assignment due every class, whether it be a reading guide or unit test.

Smith’s AP Microeconomics and Macroeconomics classes will be preparing for upcoming exams over break, while his AP U.S. History class will have a case study, assigned at the beginning of November, due when they come back from break.

As a human, you would hope that a break is a break.”

— Mrs. Sarah Ehlich

Smith said, “I think the benefit to (assigning homework over Thanksgiving break) is to keep learning and pick up where we left off after break. We’re getting close to the end of the semester and we want to continue the momentum and progress that we’ve been able to establish all semester without totally putting it down.”

Similarly, social studies teacher Mr. Mark Noe said, “It depends on the class and its rigor. If necessary, yes, (teachers) may need to assign homework.”

Some students suggested alternatives to homework over break, such as sophomore Bennett Dobrota. He said, “I think teachers could assign optional homework, so if students choose to do it, they can get points, but if they don’t, it doesn’t hurt their grade.”

Senior Ayden Fahey said, “Instead of (having) schoolwork to keep us updated on the information we’ve learned in class, we should have a review day the Monday we come back.”

No matter whether they assign homework or not, teachers still hope that students will enjoy their Thanksgiving break and come back to school feeling rejuvenated and ready to learn.

Smith said, “I do hope everyone gets a chance to put down work for a bit and enjoy the holidays.”