Teacher Office Hours Are A Step Back From Collab

Ella Burrin, Staff Writer

This year, the administration at Notre Dame Belmont has changed up the schedule for the 2018 – 2019 academic school year. For now, B days end with a TOH, and some students are concerned. Seniors are able to leave as soon as homeroom is dismissed, but if it is a TOH, should other students that are not in the Titans class be able to leave as well?

Before the 2018-2019 school year, NDB had the schedule with TOH in the morning on B days, rather than where it is right now at the end of the day on B days. This was ineffective due to the fact that it would be nearly impossible to meet with fellow students, since there would now be schedule conflicts. For example, those who could drive would want to come in later, while those who would be dropped off normally came to school at around 8:00 in the morning. Since it was not mandatory to be at school, students would normally take the time to sleep in, leaving no time to actually collaborate on a group project or help one another with homework questions, the entire point of TOH in the first place.  

      In my opinion, I think that TOH in the afternoon is significantly better than when it was placed in the morning like how it is was for the 2017-2018 school year, however students are still lacking in the motivation department.  When it was in the morning, it was easier to decide to just sleep in and not go in and take full advantage of the time I am given to work on my work with my teachers. On top of this, it was harder to adjust everyday to the changing times, resulting in me often not getting enough sleep every night. But, by allowing students to roam around campus as they please, it is more of a free time than it is an organized study hall.

       However, once TOH was placed into the afternoon, it did not fix the issue. Now, students are allowed to stay at school in the afternoon to ensure they are completing their homework. However, how can it be guaranteed that students in the dining room are properly doing their work while surrounded by their friends, listening to music without headphones, and cracking jokes? While walking through the school to leave, a senior perk, I notice more people goofing around than I do focused on their assignments and taking proper advantage of the free time they are given. However, I remember my freshman year, when Collaboration was in place of TOH, and how necessary it was to get work done during that time period.

It is recognized that the Titans are the only students who remember the schedule when it was a collaboration period and not TOH, however that was when the schedule was the most effective when it came to getting work done. Having time in the classroom, that was quiet and centered, gave students more of a motive to actually finish the work that they had. Students used to have to have their agenda signed by teachers, and have an educational reason to be leaving their classroom. By letting it become more lackadaisical, students are abusing the time that they have to work on their assignments, something that rarely happened during the 2015-2016 school year.

Although the goal of TOH is for  students to finish work and be able to meet with their teachers, it is difficult to ensure that students are maintaining a regime of studying. By the end of the day, students do not have the motivation to stay alert for another 80 minutes, especially during the hot months of August and September. As a result, TOH is being abused, and students are using this time to watch youtube videos, grab a snack from the vending machine, or just communicate with fellow tigers who some may not have classes with.

As of right now,  TOH is not realistic. Having a schedule that was similar to a previously known collab type of schedule allows students to be more proactive about their studies, as long as they use the time appropriately. After all, it’s academics first.