The Catalyst

Afternoon teacher office hours are being abused

Ella Burrin and Daphne Sidoti

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This year, the administration changed the schedule. For now, B-Days end with Teacher Office Hours (TOH). As a perk, seniors are allowed to leave as soon as Homeroom is dismissed, while the rest of the school has to stay and work. But, while walking through the building on my way out to the parking lot, I notice more students goofing off than focusing on their homework. They are not taking advantage of the free time that they are given to study.

Last year, NDB had a schedule with TOH in the morning and classes that started at 9:30a.m. on B-Days. This was ineffective because it was nearly impossible to meet with fellow students since there would always be scheduling conflicts. For example, those who could drive to school would want to come in later, while those who would be dropped off by a parent, usually came in around 8:00a.m.

Since it was not mandatory to be at school during TOH, most students chose to use the time to stay home and sleep-in, leaving no time to actually help one another with homework, collaborate on a group project, or meet with a teacher for extra help at school, which was the point of TOH in the first place.

       Now, in my opinion, I think that TOH in the afternoon is significantly better than when it was in the morning.

When it was in the morning, it was just easier to decide to sleep-in, and not go to school, and not take full advantage of the time that students were given to work on assignments.

On top of this, it was hard to adjust to the changing times everyday with A-Days starting at 8:00a.m. and B-Days starting at 9:30a.m., resulting not getting consistent sleep every night.

So, now, we have afternoon TOH.

But, when TOH was changed to the afternoon, the issue of working was not fixed. Everyone, except the seniors, has to stay at school, so they can complete their homework. They do not have to stay in their homerooms.  They are allowed to pick a place on campus to work. But, is it guaranteed that students in the Dining Room are doing their homework while surrounded by their friends, listening to music without their headphones on, and cracking jokes with each other?

The Titans are the only class left who remember the schedule that had Collaboration, not TOH. It was the most effective for getting work done. Having time in a classroom that was centered and quiet gave students more of a motive to actually finish the work that they had. They used to be required to get their planners signed by teachers and have an academic reason in order to leave the classroom.

By allowing students to roam around campus as they please, it is more of a free time than it is an organized study hall. And, by letting it become more lackadaisical, students are abusing the time that they have to work on their assignments.

Although the goal of TOH is for students to do homework and be able to meet with their teachers, it is difficult to ensure that they are studying.

By the end of the day, they 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 as students use this time to watch YouTube videos, grab a snack from the vending machine, or just talk with fellow Tigers, some who they may not have classes with.

As of now, afternoon TOH is not realistic. Having a schedule that is similar to Collaboration makes students more proactive about their studies as long as they use the time appropriately. After all, it’s academics first.

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Afternoon teacher office hours are being abused