The other day I received the following email from a teacher in a private school in Toronto, Canada.
Teachers: She’s really looking for advice and support from you, so please help her out by posting a comment.
As a veteran English teacher, I totally concur with your views about homework. I do not assign daily homework, only longer term projects in which there is student choice and which serve as extensions to the curriculum – endeavors designed to take them out of the classroom and apply skills and knowledge.
So here’s the problem. Parents in our school are demanding more homework. Our principal is leaning on us to assign more homework, according to the ridiculous formula of 10 minutes per grade level, i.e. grade 8 should be doing 80 minutes per night. It’s like these kids have to be putting in a set amount of time chained to their desks. By the way, our school runs from 8:45 to 4:10 – a very long day.
I refuse to assign hateful content questions and word lists to fill this arbitrary homework quota.
Monday on our curriculum night, when I do my spiel before the parents, I am ready to try to educate them on the homework issue. Any ideas?