Opinion

Disorganized lunch labs present scheduling challenges

When 10:50 rolls around, the library doors open and a herd of students rush in and fill the entire room within minutes; they don’t lounge with friends, however, but rather complete a substantial amount of homework, most of it due within the next 24 hours. Probably the most difficult part of the day is finding an open computer during lunch.  This is because every night, while running from sports to clubs, work to dinner, many students have little time for homework and studying.  Getting a head start on school work during lunch gives students more time to relax at home and an opportunity for an earlier bedtime, making them more refreshed the following school day.  However, whether it’s chemistry or biology, lab gets in the way and is just downright aggravating.

The ostensible set-up of the lab schedule make sense: when science is directly before or after lunch, the class stays an extra 20 minutes or comes 20 minutes early from lunch to work on the lab.  However, lab is not treated as such and should be organized in a way that will be easier for both teachers and students.

With the way lab is set up now, occasionally it is treated as just another regular class and not utilized for the appropriate purpose: lab time.  Some teachers distribute busy work, and others cancel the lab altogether for no particular reason, which is completely frustrating for students hoping to plan make-up tests or club meetings.  Cancelling last minute is inconsiderate and disrupts multiple schedules.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 85 percent of teenagers get less than eight and a half hours of sleep each night.   This makes for a lot of unhealthy students.  Lack of sleep can result in a poor academic performance and trouble concentrating on everyday chores.  So why should we bother going to lab at lunch and staying up all night to do homework, when we’re just going to have trouble with making it through the next day?

There should be enough time in one class period to start and finish a lab.  Here’s a simple, organized schedule that would help keep this system under control.  Day One: The teacher assigns the lab and explains what the students are expected to do.   Day 2: The students complete the lab in class and record whatever information they need.  Day 3: Students refer back to the pictures and record further observations and data.

The current lab schedule fits well into some students’ day; however, my proposed schedule idea would lift a weight off students’ backs.  Students would be able to use their lunch break to get a head start on homework, have time after school to fit in extracurriculars, and hopefully gain an extra hour or two of sleep.  Students would focus better in class, have an easier time understanding the material, and maybe even get an A on their lab report.

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