That’s What She Said: Are summer assignments giving students their rightfully deserved break?


M. Putnam

Emma and Tia debate whether students should have assignments for school over their summer break. While Tia argues that students need a break frim school over summer to help them reset, Emma counters with the fact that students lose a lot of information over the summer.

Tia Hunt, Staff Reporter

 Every school year students look forward to summer break and the fun that comes with it. Whether that includes traveling in and out of the country or staying home with friends, summer’s free time opens up a lot of doors for new experiences. A stress-free summer is something that most students would love to attain, but this is difficult with summer assignments. With little guidance and generally a negative first impression of a class, these assignments offer students little, due to their typical last minute completion. Without them, a more relaxing summer could be achieved.

 Many teachers agree that this unnecessary work takes away from other important activities. Students that attend summer camps or spend a majority of the time traveling are simply unable to complete assignments. The same goes for those with summer jobs as a way for family income. Biology teacher Mrs. Clemmer said, “I do not assign summer work! During summer it is important to interact with peers, work, play, and learn/apply those citizenship skills you are taught in school. This is also an important time to get involved in the community and volunteer!” She further explained that she only gives summer assignments to IB students as a way for students to review over the summer and ensure that all material is covered throughout the year. This allows for only a minimum amount of work to be assigned which helps students over the summer and during the course.

 Even if students have the time for summer assignments, they may not have the means. Summer assignments typically require textbooks and other materials that cost money. Although most classes offer online versions of these materials, it has been proven that learning from physical copies of text is easier to comprehend. Some students don’t even have regular access to the internet or computers. This gives an unfair advantage to students with a higher budget. If students do poorly on the assignment, then it can discourage them and result in lower grades throughout the rest of the year.

 A much better option is to offer review as an optional assignment rather than a requirement. Paper versions of the assignment should also be available before the previous school year ends and during the summer for pick up as well. This gives students that are highly interested in the class a head start without the stress of a deadline. Students would then be able to focus on only what they need and not on things they already know.

Summer assignments have more negative than positive attributes and do not help out students or teachers as much as it may seem. Teachers are stuck grading work that is not the best quality, and students do work that is essentially busy work. With the elimination of summer assignments, teachers and students can focus on doing what they love during the break.