I may have started this site to help families deal with homework, but I am also here for teachers. Unlike most people who only give lip service about how hard we work, I really know the deal!
Certainly, there are countless joys, rewards and benefits to be found in the teaching profession, but it can also be thankless, exhausting and incredibly difficult.
Teachers are expected to do everything, know everything, help every child- and do all of it with a smile and a small paycheck!
Nobody Helps Us with Homework!
We aren't taught about homework in our training and credentialing programs.
Our school district doesn't have a homework policy- or, if there is one, nobody knows what it is.
All the teachers at our school are doing their "own thing" when it comes to homework.
Our students complain about homework every single day.
Their parents complain that the homework is too hard and there is too much of it.
Other parents want us to assign more homework!
Our boss (the principal) just wants us to raise test scores
Change Can Be Good
It wasn't until I had school-age children of my own that I truly understood just how homework can ruin evenings, weekends and vacations, cause battles and even make children dislike school and reading.
Now I get it.
As a teacher, I feel badly for all of the evenings and weekends I ruined, but there is something that does make me feel a little less guilty:
When I knew better, I did better.
As I listened to parents, studied the research and lived through my own children's homework, I changed. I stopped mindlessly assigning homework; I stopped giving homework on weekends, holidays and school event nights; I actually followed the district policy (when I found out about it); I made an effort to create assignments that brought families together but didn't require them to spend all of their time and money doing them.
The best part, everybody was happier: my students, their parents, me.
Change can be scary, but it can also be fantastic! Of course, you have to be open to it.
Be open to new ideas about homework!
Listen to parents, hear their concerns, talk to administrators, read the research, consider doing things differently.
Carefully considered and assigned homework (and less of it) benefits everyone:
- relaxed and refreshed students, eager and ready to learn
- happy, involved parents that have time and energy to spend with their children each evening
- lucky YOU with less to work to assign, correct, grade, discuss, file or return.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Assigning Homework
Why am I assigning this?
What do I want my students to know?
Is it necessary?
Would one or two problems suffice?
Does every student in the class need this?
Is it busy work?
Is it worth my student's time?
Will it be a hardship for any of my students' families?
Am I really going to look at, correct it?
What to Do When Parents Want
Acknowledge that they are concerned about their child doing well- and so are you.
Remind them about the homework information you (hopefully) shared at Back-to-School Night.
Refer them to district and school homework policy (Is there one? Do you know it?)
Encourage them to read, read, read with their children. It is the best thing they can do!
Whether you are a teacher or, like me, a parent and a teacher, you will find plenty of information on this website!