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Free Period: The Dilemma

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Free Period: The Dilemma

Ella Pasternak, Academics Beat

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For Northfield High School, the option of a free period for Freshmen is a new concept. This year administration changed that rule and Freshmen including myself flocked to sign up for a free period. The prospect of having an hour and a half off to do what you wanted was an intriguing idea. For the first few weeks of school free periods included being able to roam the building, stay at home or leave early if you had free period first or last hour. By the third week things had changed. The administration had made an assigned room for freshmen to stay and were required to show up. While many students were disappointed, the change was not the worst because freshmen were given the opportunity to work on their own thing. As we enter the second semster free periods had drastically changed. Before we had a different teacher almost everyday, we now have a set teacher everyday and new rules to follow. We are no longer are able to play on our phones and made it so that we only get 5 passes every 6 weeks to go to the bathroom, the library, or the schoolstore. This enraged many students because many freshmen signed up for a free period for exactly what it was, a FREE period where you could do what you want. Now we are required to sit in a classroom for an hour and a half working on homework and assignments. If you have no assignments to work on you are told to read, sleep, or work on Khan Academy. Here are some opinnions from freshmen students :  

 

Anonymous 9th Grade Female- “ I think it’s unfair for Freshmen. The new rules are not going to stop students from misbehaving or skipping. Now we are forced to work on assignments even if we don’t have any. It defeats the purpose of a free period and I’d rather take a normal class. We are unable to even go outside now and it’s turned into more of a punishment than a free class.”

 

Anonymous 9th grade male-”I’m frustrated because it’s not what I signed up for and I signed up to be able to do what… not be forced to do work.”

        Overall, many students are saying they would much rather have a normal class where you get a full 5 credits and actually have something to do. However, many are unable to switch out because many electives are full year courses. Courses that are available may not have a class going on during certain periods when there is a free period happening. Many are upset that they didn’t get the free period they signed up for, but teachers may not be so happy about the changes as well. Now some teachers are required to come in to watch study hall when they previously had free time where they were able to plan lessons for their students. Some teachers stated that they never wanted to monitor freshmen that have free periods in the first place. As freshmen we are not aloud to leave campus, we don’t have cars, and we have relatively little work compared to upperclassmen. Taking all of this into account a free period for us is useless. Freshmen should not have been given a free period in the first place, but in the end we did. Now, us freshmen have to make the best out of this situation.. Parents are complaining about their children having a free period  and so the school has made new rules to satisfy parents. Many students with free period are also still failing most of their classes and this only shows the school that freshmen are not using this period accordingly. However, there has to be a middle ground to this situation. As students, we need to understand that we should not have been given a free period but it’s also unfair for us to be forced into a classroom to read when it is not what we signed up for. A possible agreement students suggested was that as long as you maintain all A’s and B’s in your classes you are aloud to use devices such as your phone, but otherwise you should work on bringing up our grades to A’s and B’s.

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Free Period: The Dilemma”

  1. Mari Hernandez on January 31st, 2019 8:42 am

    Please check you facts when you say that teachers have free time. Perhaps gather quotes and interview administration or teachers to support your claims.

  2. Mr. Kenkel on February 8th, 2019 5:55 pm

    Get rid of the free period. We live in an era that values the easy way. Need to check the weather? Ask Siri. Need to vacuum the house? Ask the Roomba to do it. As with all of it, we’re looking for the easiest path in education. Students aren’t doing homework? We turn to free periods to fix it, and the homework completion doesn’t seem to have changed.

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